n1786b
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A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:54 pm

ATW Reporting the following this morning:

++++++++++++++++++

Airbus moving toward solid composite fuselage on A350 XWB
Friday January 26, 2007

Airbus appears to be moving toward adopting a solid composite barrel for its A350 XWB after receiving mixed feedback on its plan to use composite panels on an aluminum frame.

According to industry analysts, trade studies are underway in Toulouse for the change.

http://www.atwonline.com/news/story.html?storyID=7727
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


- n1786b
 
baron95
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:59 pm

My god. What is this? Revision 7.0.

I have a bad feeling on this. Airbus is in total reactive mode on the A350. They are having to do this plane, not on their terms, but on Boeing's terms as a rushed response to the 787, and all along they are being pushed to a technology corner they are not comfortable with.

First they were pushed kicking and screaming to a multi-pannel composite fuselage. Now pushed again to integral barrel sections a la 787?

This will lead to disaster. As it happened with the Beech Starship and other designs, unless you optimize everything and have full command of the technology, composites can end up much heavier than Al.
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BlatantEcho
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:00 pm

that's because make panels for a tube out of carbon is insane.

now they'll have themselves a real nice plane.
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PolymerPlane
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:05 pm

What about ramp rash? Isn't it almost impossible to fix? I won't get into the composite plane. It's too dangerous. There are too many unknowns with regard to the structural integrity after hard impact. I heard it's impossible to detect the defect in the fuselage, let alone getting it fixed in a reasonable time.

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PP
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ap305
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:12 pm

What next? a bleedless system? Airbus certainly have got their combined foot well in on this one .  Wow!

[Edited 2007-01-26 07:15:53]
 
FlyUSCG
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:14 pm

I thought the whole reason they were going with the panels is because they don't have the technology to make a solid fuselage?

Quoting PolymerPlane (Reply 3):
What about ramp rash? Isn't it almost impossible to fix?

Boeing has already figured this out and already has procedures etc... to fix it. So no it is not almost impossible to fix, the airplane would never sell if that were the case. I'd also imagine that there is technology to detect defects in the fuselage. So you might want to verify your sources.
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zeke
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:16 pm

Quoting Ap305 (Reply 4):
What next? a bleedless system?

The XWB always had a electro-pneumatic system, it is not bleedless as some bleed is still needed for anti-ice.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
PolymerPlane
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:22 pm

Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 5):

My username says it all...

Cheers,
PP
One day there will be 100% polymer plane
 
RichPhitzwell
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:26 pm

For all its worth, I think AB got screwed when trying to half ask the original 350, now we see them going all out.

I say good for them, misread the needs and desires of the industry and now they are entertaining an all out revamped version.
Nonav.com kinda like Whiners except the lights are on and the pimps been paid
 
airfrnt
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:32 pm

Quoting N1786b (Thread starter):
Airbus appears to be moving toward adopting a solid composite barrel for its A350 XWB after receiving mixed feedback on its plan to use composite panels on an aluminum frame.


At least Airbus is finally ditching the whole ramp rash scare tactic. It does seem that they are being forced in feature competition with the 787.

[Edited 2007-01-26 07:34:12]
 
ap305
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:35 pm

Quoting Zeke (Reply 6):
Quoting Ap305 (Reply 4):
What next? a bleedless system?

The XWB always had a electro-pneumatic system, it is not bleedless as some bleed is still needed for anti-ice.

But it still is not all-electric like on the 787 is it?. Both this and the solid plastic fuselage have advantages that are still debatable but since Airbus seems to be tilting in favor of the solid fuselage- I was thinking it may go all the way.
 
ikramerica
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:35 pm

So, how are they going to transport these barrels? The A380 convoy is a nightmare, and they don't have an air transport big enough to carry full barrels. Does this mean all the large section will be made in Toulouse?
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airfrnt
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:38 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 11):
So, how are they going to transport these barrels? The A380 convoy is a nightmare, and they don't have an air transport big enough to carry full barrels. Does this mean all the large section will be made in Toulouse?

Ideally yes, but we may also see a hot dog version of the A380.
 
WingedMigrator
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:45 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 11):
they don't have an air transport big enough to carry full barrels

The Belugas are big enough to easily handle 5.91 meter XWB payloads. They have handled 6.5 meter diameter chemical tanks before. With A320 production concentrated in Hamburg, they should be available to carry whatever barrels are not built in Toulouse.

[edit] Upon further examination of the specs, the XWB wing is probably a bigger constraint than fuselage barrels. Looking at the XWB specs it just might fit, and I suspect this contributed to the choice of wingspan. Another interesting factoid is that the cargo hold volume of the 747 LCF is roughly 30% greater than the Beluga's. I would have expected them to be further apart.

[Edited 2007-01-26 08:07:55]
 
grantcv
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:00 pm

Okay, so what aspects of the B787 doesn't the A350XWB have yet. The flight deck windows still resemble those from the 7E7 Concept so I am guessing that they still have to be refined to match those of the B787. And the chevrons around the engines are missing so that work remains to be done. How about the windows? Do they match the B787's windows yet. I imagine the previous iteration of the interior done by BMW (the one with the shiny finishes) wasn't close enough to the B787 so that will need to be redesigned. Are Airbus planning on using the same moving production line that Boeing now has? I wonder how Boeing's change from a wireless IFE to a wired one has thrown a wrench into Airbus plans to copy what Boeing is doing in that department?
 
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zeke
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:09 pm

Quoting Ap305 (Reply 10):
But it still is not all-electric like on the 787 is it?.

That is what electro-pneumatic system means, they do not say bleedless as the 787 is not bleedless either. The systems have been in use for many years, many electro-pneumatic applications are found in truck, rail, and in the oil/gas industry.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
EvilForce
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:18 pm

Quoting Grantcv (Reply 14):
And the chevrons around the engines are missing so that work remains to be done.

Actually Airbus will be using a unique engine cowling that lowers noise by 3 to 4 db. There's a thread on it. But seriously dude, it's a tube with wings. What do you expect? It be like saying GM is copying Ford because it has 4 wheels, airbags, 4 doors and a trunk.
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baron95
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:28 pm

Quoting RichPhitzwell (Reply 8):
I say good for them, misread the needs and desires of the industry and now they are entertaining an all out revamped version.

I don't think it is really "good for them". There were reasons, why Airbus first tried to stay close to the A330, then went partial composite, then full composite with pannels. They lacked the familiarity, experience, lined-up suppliers, and needed process and methods to go full tube composite. Not to mention financial and engineering resources that are already streched thin.

I think the 787 and the industry are pushing Airbus way out of their comfort zone on the A350XWB. I say the risk needle for a possible monumental screw-up that will dwarf the A380 mess up is 3/4 scale right now.
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ap305
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:28 pm

Quoting Zeke (Reply 15):
But it still is not all-electric like on the 787 is it?.

That is what electro-pneumatic system means, they do not say bleedless as the 787 is not bleedless either. The systems have been in use for many years, many electro-pneumatic applications are found in truck, rail, and in the oil/gas industry

Zeke, there is a clear distinction between the system used on the 787 and the xwb-all I am thinking is that the distinction may be removed.
 
andessmf
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:29 pm

Quoting EvilForce (Reply 16):
What do you expect? It be like saying GM is copying Ford because it has 4 wheels, airbags, 4 doors and a trunk.

But if GM had originally derided the idea of Ford creating a car with 4 wheels, airbags, 4 doors and a trunk, I would forgive people for thinking that Airbus is coming to the party late, way late.
 
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zeke
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:31 pm

Quoting Grantcv (Reply 14):
Okay, so what aspects of the B787 doesn't the A350XWB have yet.

The 787 concept looks nothing like a 787, the 787 looks more like a 330 with the changes to the front and tail.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
ikramerica
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:34 pm

Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 13):
The Belugas are big enough to easily handle 5.91 meter XWB payloads. They have handled 6.5 meter diameter chemical tanks before.

Look at the way the 787 barrels are transported though. They are "crated" with two larger diameter rings on each end, and then wrapped in plastic. I believe that it adds more than .6 meters to the diameter, but maybe Airbus would devise something different.

Also, is the A350X taller than it is wide? Is it 5.91 meters wide or tall?
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RichPhitzwell
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:40 pm

Nonav.com kinda like Whiners except the lights are on and the pimps been paid
 
leelaw
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:44 pm

Quoting N1786b (Thread starter):
Airbus appears to be moving toward adopting a solid composite barrel for its A350 XWB after receiving mixed feedback on its plan to use composite panels on an aluminum frame.

Minutes after the Airbus "braintrust" relaunched the A350XWB as the A350XWB(CFRP) on December 4th the following joke was coming out of ILFC:

Quote:
What's new at Airbus? John Leahy has switched from playing "Three-card Composite Monte" to the "Composite Shell Game."

Did anyone else notice that Mr. Leahy wasn't able to pull a single new order or "reconfirmation" of an existing order for the A350XWB(CFRP) out of his hat at last week's "order intake jamboree."

Stayed tuned to see whether Mr. Seng of SQ fulfills his tantalizing "pledge" of last month to sign a firm order for the A350 by the end of this month.

I don't think it will shock anyone if there isn't a seventh design iteration of the A350 on the table by the time Le Bourget rolls around.

[Edited 2007-01-26 09:01:30]
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EvilForce
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:47 pm

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 19):
But if GM had originally derided the idea of Ford creating a car with 4 wheels, airbags, 4 doors and a trunk, I would forgive people for thinking that Airbus is coming to the party late, way late.

And to 99% of the flying public they won't give two spits about any such nonsense. To them, an aircraft is a commodity to get them from point A to point B, in which they care more about the in-flight movie selection and if they'll get to their destination on time than the name Boeing or Airbus on the side of the airplane.

Besides manufacturers benchmark each other constantly. It makes for a better product. The Big 3 auto manufacturers have incorporated thousands of procedures and ideas from Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers. I couldn't care less. It makes for better products for everyone. What's really important is; "Does this aircraft get me to my destination faster, cheaper, safer, and more comfortably than what's currently available?"
I bought a Venus Fly Trap today and was going to name it "Republican" but the fly trap is beneficial to the environment.
 
astuteman
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:00 pm

Quoting N1786b (Thread starter):
Airbus appears to be moving toward adopting a solid composite barrel for its A350 XWB after receiving mixed feedback on its plan to use composite panels on an aluminum frame.

I have to say, that the moment the phrase "If we make the nose section out of composite, it will be a one-piece structure" were uttered at the unveiling of the "clamshell" A350XWB, I've thought that this was about as inevitable as night following day.  checkmark 

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 1):
I have a bad feeling on this

You shouldn't.
The good news is that, if the article is correct, at least Airbus have "arrived at a destination". They can't feasibly go any further down this road.

Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 13):
Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 11):
they don't have an air transport big enough to carry full barrels

The Belugas are big enough to easily handle 5.91 meter XWB payloads

A shame in a way...

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 12):
Ideally yes, but we may also see a hot dog version of the A380

One of these would be well worth the entry price......  Smile

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 17):
There were reasons, why Airbus first tried to stay close to the A330, then went partial composite, then full composite with pannels. They lacked the familiarity, experience, lined-up suppliers, and needed process and methods to go full tube composite

Some two years have elapsed since then. In that time, Airbus have steadily moved towards the single-piece composite approach. The risks shouldn't be substantially different to those that Boeing are taking now.

Regards
 
ap305
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:06 pm

If my memory is right- Not too long ago a certain manufacturer was talking about fly-by-wire technology like it was the plague at the same time that the (then) wannabe was embracing it-I wonder where that "company line" went?. The key to any business is to admit you are wrong and do the needy-Both Airbus and Boeing have a history of doing this and this why they have succeeded in the market. While all of us(me included) may laugh at all the backtracks and sidetracks- there is no doubt the a350 will end up being a viable competitor to the 787 and may STILL take half the market. Anyone thinking otherwise is only "spinning" things to suit their bias.

[Edited 2007-01-26 09:11:25]

[Edited 2007-01-26 09:15:21]
 
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zeke
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:16 pm

Quoting Ap305 (Reply 26):
Not too long ago a certain manufacturer was talking about fly-by-wire technology like it was the plague-I wonder where that "company line" went?.

Yes you are right, now they even have a transport aircraft that is FBW with joysticks (the C17).

I remember being ribbed when going onto the Airbus by fellow pilots saying they would never fly an Airbus because they are a plastic aeroplane (making reference to the higher content of composites used Airbuses compared to Boeings). Even on that front things have gone full circle.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
baron95
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:24 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 25):
Some two years have elapsed since then. In that time, Airbus have steadily moved towards the single-piece composite approach. The risks shouldn't be substantially different to those that Boeing are taking now.

I'd agree with that IF Airbus had spend those two years researching suppliers, materials, models, processes to build a single-piece barrel composite fuselage. In 2 years they could have caught up. However, my feeling is that they did little of that and instead spent time first trying to make an A330-diameter AL/Li/Glare fuselage as light as possible, then making it wider, then making it out of composite pannels.

When did they started researching and developing in a serious way the composite-barrel design? Last week? What suppliers are they going to use? There are reports of Boeing pushing their suppliers to the breaking point to get more units out of them. There has been a global vacuum sucking of composite engineers, suppliers, materials capacity to the 787 program.

During the Manhattam project, you could barelly hire a physics teacher for a public school.
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andessmf
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:26 pm

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 23):
I don't think it will shock anyone if there isn't a seventh design iteration of the A350 on the table by the time Le Bourget rolls around.

And let's not forget the additional money and TIME that would be required to coordinate a new manufacturing process.

Quoting EvilForce (Reply 24):

And to 99% of the flying public they won't give two spits about any such nonsense

But the airlines that BUY the airplanes do. Now it will take Airbus 6 years to respond to the competitor's product. Now it will take years for an airline that picked the A350 to compete with an airline that received its 787 earlier.
 
leelaw
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:48 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 25):
have to say, that the moment the phrase "If we make the nose section out of composite, it will be a one-piece structure" were uttered at the unveiling of the "clamshell" A350XWB, I've thought that this was about as inevitable as night following day.

 checkmark 

The A350 reminds me of a "bastard child" whose conception was an embarrassment to its mother. So far, the early gestation period has been no cause for joy, as she suffers with considerable morning sickness.  Smile
Lex Ancilla Justitiae
 
astuteman
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:56 pm

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 28):
When did they started researching and developing in a serious way the composite-barrel design? Last week? What suppliers are they going to use?

I'd love to visit this "black-and-white" world that so many A-netters appear to reside in.

You seem to paint a picture within Airbus of 100% focus on one solution, then - oops! let's 100% focus on another solution, then oops!..........

During the last two years there will undoubtedly have been many threaded trade-offs in progress, with teams tasked with "developing" arguments/options as time went by.
Airbus will have inevitably recognised the inherent merit in the single-piece construction, and undoubtedly will have been developing a "route-map" towards that end, for A320RS, even if not necessarily for A350XWB.

Time and circumstances have obviously been pushing them in this direction, but such decisions are NOT made in an afternoon. They're made on the back of substantial work to validate/risk-reduce/develop the options that are to be considered or dismissed.

They won't proceed down any one particular route until the validate/risk-reduce/develop workstream at least gets past the "red-faced test" as a viable solution for the programme.

That's how development programmes work, including the 787, which IIRC was at one time an aluminium aircraft. Boeing undoubtedly went through the same process.

Regards
 
A520
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:13 pm

Quoting N1786b (Thread starter):
Airbus appears to be moving toward adopting a solid composite barrel for its A350 XWB after receiving mixed feedback on its plan to use composite panels on an aluminum frame.

I think that has been the idea for a long time (at least to evaluate this possibility in detail), but they could not announce it all at once, it would have been seen as a 787 copy cat. They just let the things naturally converge toward this position. I seem also to remember that there was some agreement with (aluminium manufacturers?) to make the original 350 in Al-Li, so they may have had to convince them to renounce to that plan (and used the cold response from airlines to do that). It also explain why they planned a 7-year development time ... they need to catch up with who you know.

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 25):
The good news is that, if the article is correct, at least Airbus have "arrived at a destination".

Exactly!
 
slz396
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:17 pm

Let's not get carrier away here, shall we.

Airbus is finetuning the construction method of the A350 and in this process some things announced may still chance. Is that a U-turn? Definitely not.

After all, regardless of what some have been made to believe, a SOLID composite fuselage does not exist; ALL designs are composed of many segments.

Boeing has decided to compose their fuselage from a multitude of slices (they call them 'barrels' to make them look more solid than they really are, yet each barrel is in fact composed of several different slices) whereas Airbus looked at composing their fuselage from much larger yet non annular segments and is apparently also looking at other methods to achieve the most optimal way to assemble a composite fuselage.

The big chance came when Airbus decided to go composite on the fuselage last year; the rest just follows a normal development concept in which all posibilities are looked at and some things might still chance.

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 31):
That's how development programmes work, including the 787, which IIRC was at one time an aluminium aircraft. Boeing undoubtedly went through the same process.

Indeed, Astuteman:
In designing the 787, Boeing have changed the material of the 7E7
they've opted for a much more conventional tail
the've stretched the plane a bit halfway down the concept definition fase
the nose section got reshaped
they recently dropped the idea of wireless IFE
and now they need to squize out more range too to make the -10 attractive.

It strikes me how some people see changes to a Boeing design as improvements, whereas they label it 'U-turns' and 'proof of failure' when they are proposed to an Airbus design.
 
andessmf
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:21 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 33):
It strikes me how some people see changes to a Boeing design as improvements, whereas they label it 'U-turns' and 'proof of failure' when they are proposed to an Airbus design.

Why not see it as a failure?

It would have been OK had Airbus decided this BEFORE they made several derogatory comments about how Boeing was building the 787, to now come about and essentially use the exact same processes to build their competitor.
 
n1786b
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:43 pm

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 28):
When did they started researching and developing in a serious way the composite-barrel design? Last week?

No, the EU has been funding this research for a while. Have a look at the Framework Programs. Does TANGO ring a bell? It should.

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 29):
And let's not forget the additional money and TIME that would be required to coordinate a new manufacturing process.

This is a key question - does this push back the EIS dates?

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 33):
It strikes me how some people see changes to a Boeing design as improvements, whereas they label it 'U-turns' and 'proof of failure' when they are proposed to an Airbus design.

You didn't see Boeing bad-mouth the competition for its choices during the development phase - remember the "Chinese-copy" comments and the scare tactics about ramp rash and so on?

Hope they find the right red wine that goes with crow.

- n1786b

[Edited 2007-01-26 10:55:22]
 
NAV20
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:46 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 25):
The good news is that, if the article is correct, at least Airbus have "arrived at a destination".

If basic matters like the form of construction are still in flux, Astuteman, I'd say they're still stuck on the start line.

'Bottom line' is, after several years of vacillation and changes of course, they're STILL unable to offer a fully-specified product to the market. So they remain unable to compete with EITHER the 787 or the 777.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
astuteman
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:18 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 36):
'Bottom line' is, after several years of vacillation and changes of course, they're STILL unable to offer a fully-specified product to the market. So they remain unable to compete with EITHER the 787 or the 777.

This is another of those "black-and-white" statements.

When the Head of Design of the then embryonic CVF Aircraft Carrier design team visited us one day, back in 2001, he was absolutely blown away when myself and two fellow Naval Architects "specified" the vessel in 3 hours, based on nothing more than a) aircraft population, b) a (wide) displacement range, c) speed.(He wasn't a Naval Arch. BTW..  Wink )

We defined the layout, length, beam, draught, hull form, hull thickness, installed power, prime mover configuration, secondary mover configuration, range, bunkerage, general arrangement, and control/electronics suite. AND the build strategy - all in 3 hours, on 1 whiteboard.
Most of these parameters are to within 2%-3% of our calculations in the maturing design as it stands now, 5 years and millions of engineering hours later.  biggrin 

Top concept designers get paid to drill down to pretty accurate numbers pretty quickly, and as we see on a multitude of threads, we get some pretty damning statements from the A-net masses when the variance from reality is even 2%.
Don't believe for one moment they can't spec the aircraft.

Also, this change (if it happens), will only enhance the product's capabilities (else why do it?), so as a minimum for now, they can go with the existing -XWB specs.

Regards
 
brendows
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:19 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 21):
Also, is the A350X taller than it is wide? Is it 5.91 meters wide or tall?

The A350XWB is wider than it's tall, the roof is actually pretty flat, take a look here:


Quoting Astuteman (Reply 25):
The good news is that, if the article is correct, at least Airbus have "arrived at a destination". They can't feasibly go any further down this road.

I agree, but would rather say that it's good news if they have reached the conclusion that this is the right way to go AND that EIS isn't delayed any more. I would say that the latter part is the important one now.
 
NAV20
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:30 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 37):
he was absolutely blown away when myself and two fellow Naval Architects "specified" the vessel in 3 hours, based on nothing more than a) aircraft population, b) a (wide) displacement range, c) speed.(He wasn't a Naval Arch. BTW.. )

Fair enough - I could do the same sort of thing in my own field. Which makes you wonder why Airbus have made so many false starts with the A350. Only two possible explanations:-

EITHER Airbus just don't HAVE capable, experienced people like that; OR -

Airbus management isn't listening to them.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
Curmudgeon
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:30 pm

I always enjoy a good Astuteman/Nav20 discussion.

The A350 appears to be stuck at the first three hours of talented design work, and has been there for quite a few of those three hour sessions now.

It seems that an afternoon broadly mapping out the aircraft is as far as Airbus gets before a concept gets aggressively marketed. Its as though invention was simply framing a concept, not doing the millions of hours of hard work that follows.

Astuteman's point that Airbus has reached its destination is true, but the rest of us have been scratching our heads all this time because it shouldn't have taken a map and a compass to get there.

Curmudgeon
Jets are for kids
 
astuteman
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:39 pm

Quoting Curmudgeon (Reply 40):
Astuteman's point that Airbus has reached its destination is true, but the rest of us have been scratching our heads all this time because it shouldn't have taken a map and a compass to get there.

Don't expect an argument from me on that one....  biggrin 

Unfortunately, sometimes business decisions based on false premises (like - we didn't expect the 787 to be THAT good) can lead to taking short-cut solutions in the engineering. I believe that's what Airbus have been doing.

Sadly.

One of my mantra's in endeavouring to push our business forward is just that - push the business forward.
And if a particular technology looks like making a significant change likely to become normal practice in decades to come, go there anyway. You're going to do it one day, so start NOW.

Airbus haven't done this, and we can now see the consequences.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 39):
EITHER Airbus just don't HAVE capable, experienced people like that; OR -

Airbus management isn't listening to them.

 checkmark 
It's nice to agree now and again...  Smile

Regards
 
JAAlbert
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:12 pm

If Airbus is indeed now preparing a 777 competitor that will be made with composite barrel technology, won't this place a lot of pressure on 777 to compete? If the composite barrel design is measurably lighter than the 777's skin, it seems to me that, when the 350 ever comes out, it could finally pose a significant challenge to the 777.

What is the ability/desirability of boeing re-engineering the 777 at some point to be built with a solid barrel composites? Or is it at this point that Boeing comes out with its completely new Y-3 (or whatever the code name is)?
 
JAAlbert
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:15 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 33):
Boeing has decided to compose their fuselage from a multitude of slices (they call them 'barrels' to make them look more solid than they really are, yet each barrel is in fact composed of several different slices)

I'm not sure what you mean by this. To my understanding, Boeing is fitting together several barrels to make a single fuselage -- this isn't so? The barrels are made up of panels? And I think your accusation is misplaced -- I have not heard that Boeing is fitting these barrels together to make the fuselage "look more solid" (implying Boeing is trying to fool somebody here). I think the decision to build the fuselage by barrel sections has more to do with production and transportation of the fuselage parts. Making the entire fuselage on one machine sounds daunting, plus, Boeing doesn't have the means to transport a complete fuselage the size of the 787 across country -- So it's build in large barrel sections instead.

So what do you mean by your statement?
 
NAV20
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:16 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 41):
Unfortunately, sometimes business decisions based on false premises (like - we didn't expect the 787 to be THAT good) can lead to taking short-cut solutions in the engineering. I believe that's what Airbus have been doing.

Sadly.

Agree in my turn.

If I had to put my finger on the likely difference between Airbus and Boeing, I'd say that Boeing probably have more 'aeroplane people' at all levels, right up to the top.

I suspect that if you turned the top three tiers of Airbus management loose on an airfield, they wouldn't notice that there were aeroplanes around until they walked into a prop......
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
jacobin777
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:18 pm

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 42):
What is the ability/desirability of boeing re-engineering the 777 at some point to be built with a solid barrel composites?

Slim to none, as it would require basially building a new plane..if the B777 is indeed going to be "taken out" by the A350, then I would expect Boeing to possibly extend the B787 to a potential B787-11....

The B787-10 is basically going to be "taking out" the B772ER...

Also, by the time the A350 comes out, Boeing will have already made a tidy profit from the B777 series..

also...carriers aren't going to wait until the A350-1000 comes out...

Finally, the B777F will still sell quite nicely..

China Southern Air May Buy 12 More Boeing Freighters (Update2)

By Irene Shen

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- China Southern Airlines Co. may order as many as 12 Boeing Co. 777 freighters, costing as much as $2.88 billion, to tap the country's growing air cargo demand, said Deputy General Manager Liu Xiaoxiao.

China's largest airline plans to operate a fleet of 20 freighters within five years, Liu said in an interview today in Shanghai. The airline has two 747 freighters and announced an order for six 777 freighters last year. All of the new freighters will also be 777s, Liu said.

The decision by China Southern, the country's only Airbus SAS A380 customer, to operate an all-Boeing freighter fleet is a further blow for the delayed superjumbo program. Chinese airlines and overseas carriers such as Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. have added cargo capacity in China as the country's growing exports drive demand. "
**

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...=conews&tkr=BA:US&sid=aWbG4.av5JHg
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:18 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 25):
The good news is that, if the article is correct, at least Airbus have "arrived at a destination". They can't feasibly go any further down this road.

 checkmark 
I have been saying all along that the aluminum frame-composite panel approach was the worst of both worlds-I'm glad Airbus has finally decided to plunge into the cold water rather than just wade half way in.

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 31):
Time and circumstances have obviously been pushing them in this direction, but such decisions are NOT made in an afternoon. They're made on the back of substantial work to validate/risk-reduce/develop the options that are to be considered or dismissed.

 checkmark 
Having been involved in such developments myself I totally agree. Boeing obviously has more experience than EADS in composite construction and felt that the technology was ready for airliner construction while Airbus didn't, because the risks are enormous. Judging by their public statements before it was announced that the 787 would be full CFRP, they obviously thought Boeing felt the same. Since that time they must have been exploring every possibility to answer it, and have come to the conclusion that the only way to get the same efficiency is to go the same route. I see this as a very good development; I am totally confident that CFRP construction is the way to go, and the A350 with panel construction would have been obsolete before it even left the computer screen; now Boeing and Airbus will each have a complete next-generation airliner which can remain in production for years or decades to come. As to those A-netters who want to criticize Airbus for criticizing Boeing's approach before adopting it, just remember that the criticisms in many cases are based on valid objections; engineering is a world of compromises and there is no perfect approach. Every solution has drawbacks, and one must carefully weigh advantages and disadvantages to arrive at the best solution. Two different groups of engineers can often come up with very different solutions to the same problem, and only time and experience will prove which will work best. Airbus has obviously been trying to find a different solution than Boeing for the problem at hand, and are finding that they are ending up in the same place. This too often occurs. The fact that both of them have ended up here to me indicates that it is the best solution and has set the way for the industry for the forseeable future.
Note: Astuteman, you are the first entry on my Respected list.
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Lumberton
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:32 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 33):
Boeing has decided to compose their fuselage from a multitude of slices (they call them 'barrels' to make them look more solid than they really are, yet each barrel is in fact composed of several different slices) whereas Airbus looked at composing their fuselage from much larger yet non annular segments and is apparently also looking at other methods to achieve the most optimal way to assemble a composite fuselage.

So EADS has a different process for barrel construction than Boeing? IIRC, Boeing has patents pending on the process in the U.S. and EU.

Quoting N1786b (Reply 35):
This is a key question - does this push back the EIS dates?

2014 according to the article, although ...

Quote:
According to industry analysts, trade studies are underway in Toulouse for the change. Last fall ATWOnline revealed that Airbus was swapping to a composite structure (ATWOnline, Oct. 25, 2006) and that the aircraft's EIS would slip to 2014.

The latest mooted change would not surprise Emirates President Tim Clark, who told this website yesterday that he feels the future lies in a 787-style structure. "That is the way [the industry] is going to go," he said.

Clark said the A350 XWB remains a bit of a mystery, adding that he doesn't want to discuss the aircraft with Airbus until it freezes the design. The 2014 timeline is a concern, although he said he does not want the manufacturer to rush the design, and he wants to see two engine-makers commit to the program, which "presents a problem for GE for the A350-1000." He added, "That said, we will still look at the A350 and what guarantees on performance and delivery Airbus are offering."

Yes, Airbus has to get it right, but the competitor won't be standing still.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
halls120
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:57 pm

Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 5):
Quoting PolymerPlane (Reply 3):
What about ramp rash? Isn't it almost impossible to fix?

Boeing has already figured this out and already has procedures etc... to fix it. So no it is not almost impossible to fix, the airplane would never sell if that were the case. I'd also imagine that there is technology to detect defects in the fuselage. So you might want to verify your sources.

I think PP was being just a bit sarcastic in his post.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 33):
It strikes me how some people see changes to a Boeing design as improvements, whereas they label it 'U-turns' and 'proof of failure' when they are proposed to an Airbus design.

You're missing the point. It isn't a case of "everything Boeing does is good" and "everything Airbus does is bad." It's more a case of being amused at the prospect of wondering how Leahy is going to explain away all his criticisms of Boeing's approach once Airbus adopts the same ideas.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
NYC777
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RE: A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?

Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:04 pm

So essentially they've bought into Boeing's design philosphy lock stock and BARREL!!!

Funny how they were deriding the 787 now they're copying it wholesale!

Boeing had it right in 2004 and Airbus totally mised the boat, even mid last year they still hadn't gotten it.

I say that if they do go ahead withh making barrel sections, the total program cost will be around $17-$18 bn and it won't come out till 2015-16.
That which does not kill me makes me stronger.

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