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2wingtips
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ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 1:58 pm

Expected to be announced at Paris and will likely result in further EIS delays.

http://www.atwonline.com/news/story.html?storyID=9009

[Edited 2007-05-25 06:59:04]
 
2H4
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 2:04 pm



It's about time Airbus commits to such technology.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again....building airframes out of aluminum will soon become akin to building ship hulls out of wood. We could do it, but the newer technologies and materials are superior in virtually every way.


2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
PM
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 2:11 pm

Bit by bit, it looks like Airbus will end up with a first class plane on their hands. The big question now is whether or not they've missed the boat. A "first class" plane ten years too late isn't worth doodly-squat.  Sad
 
futurecaptain
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 2:17 pm

Well, well, well. Wasn't it Airbus just a few years ago bashing composite barrels and declaring panels being just as good. Good to see they've come around to copy Boeing.  Smile
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DfwRevolution
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 2:24 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 2):
Bit by bit, it looks like Airbus will end up with a first class plane on their hands. The big question now is whether or not they've missed the boat. A "first class" plane ten years too late isn't worth doodly-squat.

First point: Might the A350 be the most reactionary aircraft program in commercial aviation history? If this pans out and Airbus adopts monolithic CFRP, they will have performed the most massive PR 180 in my living (aviation) memory.

Second point: When the A350 eventually morphed into a 777 replacement first (787 competitor second), the biggest question was how many airlines would actually be replacing the bulk of their 777 fleets at EIS. If the A350 EIS is pushed back beyond early-2014, they might actually hit the 772ER replacement cycle quite nicely.

That may be little solace if the 787 has already obtained an absolutely dominate position in the lower market, and begins growing in capacity, range, and payload while the A350 remains in development. The 787 Airbus will face in 2013+ will not be the 787 about to roll-out in six weeks. Aircraft are moving targets and the 777 demonstrated quite well that a veteran program can experience a second-wind of orders.

P.S. - Look at me: top 10 replies! I have the feeling this is going to be a long one
 
zvezda
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 2:38 pm

Well, well, well. I called it here: RE: Airbus CEO Sees 20 New Orders For A380 This Year 2 (by Zvezda Apr 2 2007 in Civil Aviation)#ID3338884 RE: Airbus Wide-body Market Share In 2006 (by Zvezda Jan 16 2007 in Civil Aviation)#ID3204323

Astuteman also called this one early.
 
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autothrust
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 2:45 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 4):

Second point: When the A350 eventually morphed into a 777 replacement first (787 competitor second), the biggest question was how many airlines would actually be replacing the bulk of their 777 fleets at EIS. If the A350 EIS is pushed back beyond early-2014, they might actually hit the 772ER replacement cycle quite nicely.

Thats a good point. If Airbus goes with barrel fuselage couldnt they even get better efficiency then they already claimed?
Also if they get GE on board and the 787-10 doesnt match the range figures i could imagine lots of orders as 777 replacement.
“Faliure is not an option.”
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 2:47 pm

I just hope that Airbus pulls its head out and just goes straight to a new cross section that allows 10Y with 17.2 seats. Right now their silly quest to try to get 10Y with A330 9Y comfort is well underwhelming. With Composites if you are already shooting that large of a cross section might as well go ahead and jump up to better than 777 for interior width.

Right now I think they are sandwiched between a "optimum" 9Y design and the inability to actually have 10Y in a industry accepted seat width.

I guess the next major question is if they go to barrels will they go to wider frame spacing? Given that they recently claimed that they will have the widest widows in the industry I think that has to be a yes.
 
zvezda
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 2:58 pm

Quoting AutoThrust (Reply 6):
If Airbus goes with barrel fuselage couldnt they even get better efficiency then they already claimed?

I estimate 1 or 2% percent. The bigger win is from reduced MX.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 7):
I just hope that Airbus pulls its head out and just goes straight to a new cross section that allows 10Y with 17.2 seats.

That's an excellent idea -- except:
a) it would probably leave a gap between the longest practical NSR stretch and the A350. The 787-8 would be left with little competition, and
b) it's not clear that a 10 abreast A350 would have lower CASM than a 9 abreast A350. The larger version would have advantages in propulsion and aerodynamic efficiency, but the smaller version would have better volumetric efficiency. If the increase in cross section were limited to width with the fuselage height remaining constant, then this would be a minor effect.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 3:15 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 10):
If the increase in cross section were limited to width with the fuselage height remaining constant, then this would be a minor effect.

yes, I think planes will be able to get much fatter without getting taller compared to previous airframes. Also I suspect that extra room in the overhead will not be as wasted as previous aircraft as more equipment moves up there.

My main problem right now is that the latest cross section they discuss is is a fair bit larger in frontal area, yet seats 0.00% extra people in virtually every configuration imagined by airlines. Maybe a decade after EIS you might see a charter airline get their hands on one, but prior to that... nope. So might as well step right up to the next size up and call it good.

You are right that it leaves a huge gap, but My thoughts is that this leaves the opportunity if they can get their R&D cycle down to 4-5 years to do a real A330 replacement on a cross section not far off their old one. If they can't, then the price they pay is only being able to cover 2/3 the market that Boeing can. So far Airbus seems to be unable to let go of that 1/3 and focus on what they have, so if they don't wake up and watch their 2/3 they will shortly have 0/3's of the market covered.
 
astuteman
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 3:28 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 4):
they will have performed the most massive PR 180 in my living (aviation) memory

Better that, I guess, and get it right, than stand on pride and go under.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 7):
I just hope that Airbus pulls its head out and just goes straight to a new cross section that allows 10Y with 17.2 seats. Right now their silly quest to try to get 10Y with A330 9Y comfort is well underwhelming



Quoting Zvezda (Reply 10):
If the increase in cross section were limited to width with the fuselage height remaining constant, then this would be a minor effect.

I sort of agree with XT6Wagon on this one. 787 beat up the A330 by being able to offer 9Y at 17" with only 5" or so increase in diameter. A step change in ability delivered by an incremental one in size.  thumbsup 

Whilst the -XWB size is great, and allows genuine 9Y with greater comfort, it only provides an incremental change in ability for an incremental change in size.

If I were Airbus, I'd avoid falling between two stools, and absolutely push the limits of the new structure, new insulation, new linings, the ability of CFRP to easily tailor the shape, and go for the 10Y at 17" with the minimum increase in cross-section (as you say, Zvezda, possibly even "flatten" the cylinder out, even)

As the current -XWB appears capable of 10Y at 16.5", it only needs another 5" to achieve this. As I say, push the boundaries and make that only 4", say, and you've just added an immense amount of ability (in market terms) for very little extra aeroplane.  thumbsup 
In fact, given the change in construction, the overall effect on weight/drag might be as near-as-dammit zero.
And this is already a good plane BTW....

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 10):
it would probably leave a gap between the longest practical NSR stretch and the A350. The 787-8 would be left with little competition, and

I'd love to see that filled by a reincarnation of the A300, (say 54m-55m long, and similar span, on c. 360k to 400k lbs) using the new cross-section. What a great plane that would be  cloudnine 

Thanks for the heads-up, 2Wingtips
The delays are the key... more compensation ?  boggled .
Some airlines are about to get the best value-for-money airliner in the history of aviation  biggrin 
Regards
 
scouseflyer
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 3:30 pm

Quoting 2wingtips (Thread starter):
will likely result in further EIS delays.

I'm not sure it should, as they are very early on the design process of this bird and this may be just the design evolving, but with the A350 slip seems to be the order the day!
 
astuteman
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 4:00 pm

Quoting Scouseflyer (Reply 14):
I'm not sure it should, as they are very early on the design process of this bird and this may be just the design evolving, but with the A350 slip seems to be the order the day!

IMO "slip", if there is any, will almost certainly be driven by the complexities of the industrialisation process, not the design itself.

Regards
 
scouseflyer
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 4:13 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 15):
IMO "slip", if there is any, will almost certainly be driven by the complexities of the industrialisation process, not the design itself.

Treu hadn't thought of that, I wonder how much this has to with Alenia coming on board as a major supplier for this project (as they are for the 787  scratchchin  )
 
flydreamliner
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 4:14 pm

Are they ever going to actually build A350's, or just keep redesigning them until what they have built is a 15% scaled larger 787, except with a less efficient cross section shape.... At some point they need to make up their mind, stick to it, and actually start to deliver aircraft, otherwise this A350 with be competing with Y3 instead of 787 by the time it's done.

Also, I think Toulouse needs to put a time delay on anything Leahy wants to say from now on, just in case whatever he's bashing happens to be what airbus is doing six weeks later. First 787 just caught up to A330, then 787 engines would make A330 competitive, then it was Li-Al fuselages were better than carbon, then it was CFRP is dangerous, then it was barrels could not be repaired, and now it appears they are doing everything Boeing has planned from the start. It's like in the 1990s when Burger King stopped doing its own market research and just starting opening up shop across from every new mcdonald's. Airbus is just copying the competition, but at the rate it is taking them to do it, why bother.

Airbus' biggest issue is indecision. If they had gone with the original Li-Al A350, they'd be selling planes right now, they''d be delivering in 2009 or 2010, they wouldn't be AS efficient as 787, but they'd be easier and cheaper to get and would have fleet commonality with A330 and A340. Likewise, if Airbus hadn't been so stubborn/complacent and gone with a CFRP barrel in the first place, they'd be getting to market in 2011 or 2012 instead of what appears to now be basically into 2015, basically 7 years after 787 - and it's in essence, the same product, only larger, and there is no doubt 787-10 will be done by then, giving Boeing a more complete model lineup.

Airbus messed up a good opportunity here. They won't be hitting any home runs with A350 at this point, but they might score a solid single - or even a double, getting a competitive aircraft to market, albiet very late, after many delays and contradictory statements.
"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
 
astuteman
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 4:30 pm

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 17):
Likewise, if Airbus hadn't been so stubborn/complacent and gone with a CFRP barrel in the first place, they'd be getting to market in 2011 or 2012

Well at least this bit of your post was on target.............  checkmark 

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 17):
except with a less efficient cross section shape

How so? They may well end up with a MORE efficient cross-section....  Smile

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 17):
They won't be hitting any home runs with A350 at this point

This would appear to criticise Airbus for doing the thing that they've been criticised so much in the past for NOT doing - namely, listening to the feedback from its customers...............

Quote from the thread-start article:-
Many at Airbus have been concerned that the A350 XWB "would be blown away" if Boeing turned to an all-composite 777
This would seem to be an appropriate, long-term response to that concern.

Regards
 
slz396
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 4:34 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 4):
If this pans out and Airbus adopts monolithic CFRP, they will have performed the most massive PR 180 in my living (aviation) memory.

You seem to be suffering from amnesia then...

Whereas the material the A350 is going to be built from has chanced over the course of its design phase, Boeing once managed to change all BUT the material their next long haul plane would be built from.

Still remember how boeing once pitched this to the airlines:
sonic cruiser


and how it ended up as:


With this in mind, I don't think Boeing is at risk of being dethroned soon as the 'King of U-turns', although Airbus does make a good entry at the second place in the list with their A350 indeed.

As you have come to show yourself, a U turn is soon forgotten if the decision leads to success though...

[Edited 2007-05-25 09:39:33]
 
kappel
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 4:50 pm

Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 3):
Well, well, well. Wasn't it Airbus just a few years ago bashing composite barrels and declaring panels being just as good. Good to see they've come around to copy Boeing.  

How quickly people forget that Boeing used to bash Airbus aircraft as being "plastic aircraft" because of their high composite content. They have also changed their tune (and copied Airbus as you might say) since the 777, and now completely of course. It's all PR, nothing more.
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MCIGuy
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 5:11 pm

I can't say I'm surprised by this, anything else wouldn't be competitive.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 19):
Whereas the material the A350 is going to be built from has chanced over the course of its design phase, Boeing once managed to change all BUT the material their next long haul plane would be built from.

Still remember how boeing once pitched this to the airlines:

Unfair, there was interest in Sonic Cruiser then along came 9/11.  

Quoting Kappel (Reply 20):
How quickly people forget that Boeing used to bash Airbus aircraft as being "plastic aircraft" because of their high composite content. They have also changed their tune (and copied Airbus as you might say) since the 777, and now completely of course. It's all PR, nothing more.

You're reaching further back than I would have. I remember less than three years ago statements from A that Boeing would see the light and "build a plane that is less than 30% composites". Not only is the current situation a 180, but the product is becoming a slightly bigger copy of their competitors product.


Edited for typo.

[Edited 2007-05-25 10:15:16]
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parapente
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 5:15 pm

I agree with dreamflyer its not the 777 Airbus need worry about its Y3. If as many suspect Y3 is the BWB (Made from carbon shaped pannels!!) then the A350 will be still borne. In any case whats all this nonsense "a carbon 777". You can't just "shove a carbon tube in the middle of an 80's design" You start again.Which is what Boeing will do -when its good and ready.- After replacing the 737. No one (I think) has asked the question on how this latest debacle effects this replacement cycle. Now that Airbus have admitted that Boeings way is the right way and the 787 roll out is days away-whats to stop them launching the 737 replacement at Paris (apart from a new engine-of which we will no doubt hear more very shortly) using 787 technology that airbus does not even have.
 
kappel
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 5:42 pm

Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 21):
You're reaching further back than I would have. I remember less than three years ago statements from A that Boeing would see the light and "build a plane that is less than 30% composites". Not only is the current situation a 180, but the product is becoming a slightly bigger copy of their competitors product.

True, I am not saying that A is better than B in this respect. My point is that it's never good to take anything what the PR departments of big companies say for face value, they are always trying to put their own products in a better light.
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semobeila
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 5:51 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 2):
The big question now is whether or not they've missed the boat. A "first class" plane ten years too late isn't worth doodly-squat.

Well, I don't think Airbus will dismiss all the new technology that comes along in the next ten (actually it's seven) years.

Quoting Parapente (Reply 22):
whats to stop them launching the 737 replacement at Paris

A huge back-log which could be in danger when launching the new 737 too soon.

Quoting Parapente (Reply 22):
using 787 technology that airbus does not even have

That's simply not true. Most of the technology is available to everyone as it is provided by 3rd parties - just a matter of licening fees.
 
scouseflyer
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 5:57 pm

Quoting Semobeila (Reply 24):
Quoting Parapente (Reply 22):
whats to stop them launching the 737 replacement at Paris

A huge back-log which could be in danger when launching the new 737 too soon.

Very much in aggreement - also I'm going to use an argument that's often thrown about by A bashers - Boeing is somewhat busy at the moment - they're launching a new plane, way of working and way of building planes this year. Followed by two or three derivatives, another new plane in the 748 with possibly a derivative (I see the 748I as somewhat shaky at the moment) and there's also the 777F which is another new derivative coming soon - quite a busy time!

I would also think that they wouldn't want to launch a 737RS based on the 787 tech until they were sure that there wasn't any nasties lurking in this new process and way of building planes - you can do all of the sums in the world but nothing beats proving something by actually doing it!
 
Oykie
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 6:24 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 4):
That may be little solace if the 787 has already obtained an absolutely dominate position in the lower market, and begins growing in capacity, range, and payload while the A350 remains in development.



Quoting Zvezda (Reply 10):
it would probably leave a gap between the longest practical NSR stretch and the A350. The 787-8 would be left with little competition, and

The news about Airbus delaying the A350XWB yet again and that it now seems more like a 777 replacement than a 787 competitor makes me believe that it would be a good time to offer the A330-200Lite again with improved aerodynamics and Genx/Trent engines. I know Airbus is stretched on resources at the moment, but I am pretty sure that the A330-200Lite, or NG or whatever, would be able to get a larger market share then the current A330-200.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 7):
I just hope that Airbus pulls its head out and just goes straight to a new cross section that allows 10Y with 17.2 seats.

I agree with you completely. Airbus should push for the 777 replacement cycle and make it right. With Boeing's current development time, they could wait until 2010 to see what the A350XWB will look like, and then make a new 777 replacement and have it in the air at the same time as the A350 enters service.

Or Boeing could start developing a brand new 737 replacement next year and have it ready by 2012 and then make start developing a 777 replacement and have it ready by 2016 two years after the A350XWB. Then Boeing's portfolio would be brand new, and the oldest would be the 787  Smile
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
bringiton
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 7:47 pm

I think this is good for airbus in the sence they are being precieved as " Listening to there customers" . This is very important for a company who's credibility to handle large scale developmental project has taken a bashing ( some earned some not deserved) . However this is pushing the boundary too far into the future IMHO . If these dates are true then the 77W competitor wont be out till like 9-10 years from now which is too far out IMO . I think that they should , now work on the Old XNW and try bringing it online by 2010-2011 and then focus solely on the 10 abreast 777 competitor that the XWB is on the verge of turning out to be .

Just my 2 cents!
 
Lokey123
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 8:14 pm

This decision was actually made sometime late last year and disseminated to early 350 customers...just now being made public is all
 
AirSpare
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 8:24 pm

Quoting Semobeila (Reply 24):
is available to everyone

That of course depends on who owns the patents, and if they will agree to license them.

This seems to breath about 5 years into the 777 program, and I hope the X-XWB precludes the need for B to launch -10, -11, -X versions so as a freakuent (sic) flyer, I won't be stuck on a SardineLiner.

This plays into B's hands to launch Y3 and not streched derivitives of the 787. The cabin size of 777 class aircraft sell tickets.

Next question, will it go bleedless? I started a thread a while back, there are some excellent replies, it's worth looking at again.

Cheers~michael

ed: missed a word in a sentence

[Edited 2007-05-25 13:27:05]
Get someone else for your hero worship fetish
 
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Stitch
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 8:39 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 19):
Whereas the material the A350 is going to be built from has chanced over the course of its design phase, Boeing once managed to change all BUT the material their next long haul plane would be built from.

Point of order - Boeing never launched the Sonic Cruiser, much less offered it for sale for the better part of a decade, constantly changing it over time until it finally became the 787 that took to the skies.  Wink Anyway, why snipe when we can discuss?


XT6Wagon is dead-on that Airbus really needs to make the A350 an XXWB and get 10 abreast at 17.2" to match the 777 and 747 families. It is not just the 747, 777 and 787 Airbus will be competing with, but also Y3 down the road. The last thing we need is the A350 to become the A330/A340 to Y3's 777. Many airlines took the 777 because it could do 9-abreast in similar comfort to the A330/A340 in 8-abreast. While Y3 will probably be significantly wider still (11 and even 12-abreast is being tossed-about), a 10-abreast A350 will offer more options to airlines then 9-abreast will and it will give Airbus their own advantage over the 787, which will have even more time now to be refined and defined into larger variants.

So while pushing EIS back even more is going to hurt, down the road it will make the A350 an even more effective competitor to the 787 and the fact that airlines like EK and SQ are willing to wait for an "Airbus 787" rather then just buy the Boeing product years earlier frankly strikes me as good news for Airbus as it shows faith in their ability to pull it off.  thumbsup 
 
bringiton
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 8:46 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 32):
XT6Wagon is dead-on that Airbus really needs to make the A350 an XXWB and get 10 abreast at 17.2" to match the 777 and 747 families.

One thing strikes me about this notion (which i endorse) , Can airbus use the same engines ( that the manufacterers have committed to) if they size up the 350 to the X-XWB? The way i look at is that cross the entire family there would be weight gain , and inorder to support the promised range/payload figures they would have to ask for more powerful engines which might not be available . Can GE and RR committ to those engines and can the -1000 be launched as a 10 abreast (wider and possibly heavier) in 2015 using the current engine technology development path . If GE were reluctant to commit to the earlier 1000 what are the odds that they'd committ to the new one which would possibly need even bigger engines.

I think at the end , the real problem might be that how big can the aircraft get before it needs a completely different engine .
 
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Revelation
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselag

Fri May 25, 2007 9:02 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 2):
Bit by bit, it looks like Airbus will end up with a first class plane on their hands. The big question now is whether or not they've missed the boat. A "first class" plane ten years too late isn't worth doodly-squat.

It's interesting how airlines like US, BA, LH, AF, and EK have been saying they are right in the middle of an A350/787 purchasing decision and have seemed to be holding off, waiting to find out what "the A350 is or isn't". I wonder if the slip in EIS is true will put A350 out of the running for some or all of these bids.

Also interesting how SQ, QR, etc have had A350 MOUs in place for a long time that have not been committed to orders. There must be some serious discussions going on behind closed doors somehwere.
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
DAYflyer
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 9:13 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 4):
Might the A350 be the most reactionary aircraft program in commercial aviation history? If this pans out and Airbus adopts monolithic CFRP, they will have performed the most massive PR 180 in my living (aviation) memory.

Absolutely. Funny thing is, you will never see the Airbus pundits admit this. I remember when we had all the anti-Boeing cries like "CFRP can't be done on this scale", or "barrels wont work, panels are the way to go", or "you cant do a whole fuselage out of it because of the mx problems with skin damage issues" and so forth.

Now Airbus does it and all is right with the world? What hypocrisy.

Now with an EIS of 2014, this aircraft will debut about the time Boeing announces the 737 replacement, leaving Airbus behind again. With the domino effect now taking place, who can say the 787 was not the game changer Boeing said it was????
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 9:22 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 27):
So while pushing EIS back even more is going to hurt, down the road it will make the A350 an even more effective competitor to the 787 and the fact that airlines like EK and SQ are willing to wait for an "Airbus 787" rather then just buy the Boeing product years earlier frankly strikes me as good news for Airbus as it shows faith in their ability to pull it off.

TRue Stitch but I believe that no one recognises the need for there to be 2 competitive products like Clark and Song. Without a competitive A350 aggresive deals will be harder.. period.

It happened in North American locomotive market as well. Union Pacific bought EMDs to help keep the duopoly with GE going as much as actually wanting SD70's over the GE Dash 9's
 
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 9:27 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 5):
Well, well, well. I called it here:

I recall discussions I had with Astuteman (on and off the forum) on this subject where we both agreed that this is the way Airbus should go.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 8):
I estimate 1 or 2% percent. The bigger win is from reduced MX.

This is also the reason I felt Airbus needed to go this route.

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 15):
Are they ever going to actually build A350's, or just keep redesigning them until what they have built is a 15% scaled larger 787, except with a less efficient cross section shape.... At some point they need to make up their mind, stick to it, and actually start to deliver aircraft, otherwise this A350 with be competing with Y3 instead of 787 by the time it's done.

As others have mentioned, Airbus has lost much valuable time by not deciding on a course and sticking to it; hopefully it is not too late for them. Fortunately for them, Boeing will not be able to come close to meeting all the demand for more efficient airliners by themselves, and there are airlines that have a pronounced preference for Airbus planes that will wait for the A350. It does appear that they have finally come up with a truly competitive plane, albeit a few years late.
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselag

Fri May 25, 2007 9:29 pm

Quoting DAYflyer (Reply 30):
panels are the way to go

Panels did have some appeal: they were said to be more compatible with Airbus's existing composite technology (i.e. fit into the current autoclaves, etc) and were easier to transport than barrels.

So, I wonder what we can read into the move from panels to barrels?

I imagine it means Airbus has either found the money to build out its own new composite production facilities, or has found partners willing to do so.

Also presumably some solution to the transportation issue has been found. Worse case they can resort to trucks, ships and barges like A380, or perhaps they'll be building a Dreamlifter knock off, potentially built on top of an A380 platform, which may be overkill, but would be a very interesting asset for Airbus to have.
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 9:34 pm

Quoting Bringiton (Reply 28):
Can airbus use the same engines ( that the manufacterers have committed to) if they size up the 350 to the X-XWB?

RR should be able to, as the Trent XWB uses a larger fan then the Trent 1000 going on to the 787. However, this will put more strain on GE unless they too commit to a dedicated A350 powerplant or they do to the GEnx what they did to the GE90 and somehow boost it to over 100,000lbs of thrust.

Quote:
I think at the end , the real problem might be that how big can the aircraft get before it needs a completely different engine.

Well the A350 does have a larger then necessary wing (ala the A380) which will help it lift more with lower thrust. In the end, I am sure a wider A350 will be okay even with MTOWs pushing towards 700,000lbs (which I don't think they will quite need to scale to).

Quoting Revelation (Reply 29):
It's interesting how airlines like US, BA, LH, AF, and EK have been saying they are right in the middle of an A350/787 purchasing decision and have seemed to be holding off, waiting to find out what "the A350 is or isn't". I wonder if the slip in EIS is true will put A350 out of the running for some or all of these bids.

Delivery date will remain Boeing's advantage in winning them. They essentially just received one to two more years worth of "exclusivity" to sell their planes, which also lowers the pressure to significantly ramp production.

Quote:
Also interesting how SQ, QR, etc have had A350 MOUs in place for a long time that have not been committed to orders. There must be some serious discussions going on behind closed doors somehwere.

They both need something bigger then the 787-9. EK will continue to take 773ERs and I imagine SQ will order more, as well. EK might also take more 772LRs and perhaps this might finally get SQ to commit to it to replace their 9V-SVx long-haul and 9V-SQx medium-haul 772ER fleet that can't be handled by the A333s coming to replace the 9V-SRx short-haul 772ER fleet. Add in additional models to replace the A345s and maybe some freighters and Boeing and GE could make a very compelling package deal.
 
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselag

Fri May 25, 2007 9:51 pm

Quoting DistantHorizon (Reply 36):
Things are not that simple.
Airbus could not have the an improved A330 right now. That was never an option.

Actually I was quoting someone else, and I said it could be flying now, but who knows for sure? From Wikipedia's A350 article:

Quote:
On 16 September 2004, then Airbus president and CEO Noël Forgeard confirmed that a new project was under consideration, but did not give a project name, and would not state whether it would be an entirely new design or a modification of an existing product. Forgeard indicated that Airbus would finalise its concept by the end of 2004, begin consulting with airlines in early 2005, and aim to launch the new development programme at the end of that year.

So if development started in earnest at the end of 2005, and it was mainly an A330 with new engines, it could be flying in 2007 and EIS in 2008. Actually the article says EIS was planned for 2010, but given that the A330 is currently sold out till 2009 or so that's not too much of a problem.

Quoting DistantHorizon (Reply 36):
And even if they could, that 25% market would shrink to much less than that, year after year. That was unaceptable for Airbus.

My premise was that the A330 lite would be desireable only to give them time to develop a full composite A350. As it is, the A330 is sold out through 2009 or so, and A330 lite could have given them decent enough sales to tide them through the time the A350 could be up and running.

As I said earlier, there's no changing the past. Things happened they way they did. But it's interesting to me to speculate what Airbus upper management would have done differently if they had true appreciation of the scope of the oncoming A380 debacle, and if they had not been "caught napping"by the 787. Perhaps nothing, given that Foregard amazingly has cashed himself out of the game scott free, and Charles Champion and John Leahy are still drawing executive's salaries at Airbus. There doesn't seem to be much penalty for screwing up things royally at Airbus.
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 10:09 pm

My two cents ..... There is a big mis-match between Airbus marketing propaganda and promises made to customers, and the engineering reality of the previous versions of the A350. Airbus knows that there only chance to actually deliver an A350 that will match/beat the B787, is by copying (and improving on) Boeing-developed technology. An Al-Li or composite panels A350 simply had not technical chance of meeting the OEW and efficiency targets. They must adopt Boeing's state-of-the-art design and manufacturing process in order to deliver on the performance goals. I wouldn't be too surprized if soon enough Airbus announces that the A350 will include more electrically-powered and less bleed-air-powered systems (but of course, they will never call it bleedless).
 
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 10:44 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 12):
IMO "slip", if there is any, will almost certainly be driven by the complexities of the industrialisation process, not the design itself.

If the A350XWB spun barrels can't be fitted in the Beluga, maybe there is a place for the A380F in something other than the package freighter market.
Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
 
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 10:50 pm

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 37):
If the A350XWB spun barrels can't be fitted in the Beluga, maybe there is a place for the A380F in something other than the package freighter market.

Could be, there was also a mention in a differant thread of Airbus ordering two more ships.
 
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 10:58 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 2):
A "first class" plane ten years too late isn't worth doodly-squat

I completely agree with this. I have no informed opinion on whether or not barrel fuselages are better, but one thing is for sure, the longer they take to get this baby out the door, the less successful it is.

I have no problem with a design changing - even radically - but you can't continue to sour good news with bad news. Airbus needs to get to a position where they can say, "hey, you know, we've decided to go barrel fuselage. oh and by the way, we've also added some engineers and improved our process and EIS will be 2012"

Currently, Airbus has no true 788 competitor, a 2015 A358 will lose out against the 789 due to timing, which leaves them with a nice A359, and a A351, which can't get GE engines - a big downer. They'll have a fabulous aircraft and will battle to sell them.

Earlier, I predicted less than 1,000 A350 airframes. If they change to CFRP and announce another year long delay, I'm changing my prediction to less than 800 airframes, and US goes 787. Sadness.  Sad

I'm with the posters that feel if they were going to take so long, they should have done a quick 3 year program to revamp on the A330 for a 2008 EIS, and then leisurely done the A350.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 5):
Well, well, well. I called it here:

Well, well. Nothing like a little self-praise, big boy!  Wink

Quoting Kappel (Reply 20):
My point is that it's never good to take anything what the PR departments of big companies say for face value, they are always trying to put their own products in a better light.

Agreed, if Leahy wasn't pumping up his product, he should be fired. It's a little like those Hyundai vs. Lexus ads.

Quoting OyKIE (Reply 23):
it would be a good time to offer the A330-200Lite again with improved aerodynamics and Genx/Trent engines

I agree in concept, but I think they've missed the boat on this one too. If they'd launched it in 2005, they good EIS now. As it stands, they won't get it done before 2011. The bulk of the sales have already gone 787, and by 2011, the 787 will be flying three years. An A330-lite won't sell more than a few score frames.
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 10:59 pm

Quoting Scouseflyer (Reply 38):
Could be, there was also a mention in a differant thread of Airbus ordering two more ships.

If you're talking about the aquatic kind, I wonder if an A380 type ship and trucking transportation solution would support the production rate an A350 line would need.
Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
 
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 11:05 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 16):
a U turn is soon forgotten if the decision leads to success though...

This statement still implies that a U-turn is a mistake. In both the cases of the Sonic Cruiser and now the A350, the alleged U-turn is a wise correction. We should applaud these decisions, not deride them as "U-turns". thumbsup 

Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 18):
Unfair, there was interest in Sonic Cruiser then along came 9/11.

And Boeing was fortunate (in a sense) that it did. In the face of today's fuel costs and environmental concerns the Sonic Cruiser would have been a disaster. yes 

Quoting Stitch (Reply 27):
So while pushing EIS back even more is going to hurt, down the road it will make the A350 an even more effective competitor to the 787

Not if they make it even larger. As pointed out above, that likely would leave the B788 with only the A332 as competition. In light of that, I renew my argument that Airbus would have done well to build the original "A330+" with new wing and engines. An A350XXWB would have been better as an "A370", sized purely to take on the B772, B773 and beating Boeing's Y3 to market...and perhaps with not much later EIS than what we're looking at now.

The current A350XWB was intended to bridge both the B787 and B777 sizes, taking market from both. If the final decision is to go even larger, Airbus will have effectively abandoned perhaps 1,000 high revenue sales to Boeing.

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 10):
I'd love to see that filled by a reincarnation of the A300, (say 54m-55m long, and similar span, on c. 360k to 400k lbs) using the new cross-section. What a great plane that would be

Agreed - but when would Airbus be able to deliver such a plane? I still see the A320RS/B737RS as the next great challenge to come; can Airbus build that "A1" aircraft and deliver an "A2" in a reasonable time?
Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
 
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 11:12 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 16):
Still remember how boeing once pitched this to the airlines:

Not even close!!



Boeing never launched the Sonic Cruiser, nor obtained nearly 200 FIRM orders only to scuttle the program completely and re-launch an entirely new airplane. Which is exactly what Airbus did with the A350. For what it's worth, Airbus had their fair share of conceptual airliners rejected by the market prior to launch.

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 10):
Better that, I guess, and get it right, than stand on pride and go under.

Maybe yes, maybe no. Had Airbus stuck with the initial A350-800/900 with an EIS in mid-2010 and budget of $5 billion, I suspect there are many people who would say Airbus would be better off today. Using the A350 as a stop-gap for 2010-2015, they could have taken their time and introduced a highly optimal A359-A346 replacement simmilar to the XWB might have finally become.

The specs of the initial A350 were obviously good enough for approx 10 customers to place almost 200 orders, and the airlines who demanded the XWB still haven't placed firm orders. Paris might change that, but Airbus management of the A350 program to date has truly been disastrous.
 
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 11:14 pm

Quoting DAYflyer (Reply 30):
Absolutely. Funny thing is, you will never see the Airbus pundits admit this. I remember when we had all the anti-Boeing cries like "CFRP can't be done on this scale", or "barrels wont work, panels are the way to go", or "you cant do a whole fuselage out of it because of the mx problems with skin damage issues" and so forth.

Now Airbus does it and all is right with the world? What hypocrisy.

Good question. I wonder when we'll see John Leahy admit he was wrong when he said "Unless [Boeing] have discovered some new law of physics or some new manufacturing process that nobody in the world has ever heard of -- and we know they have not -- then they either will be sub-optimal, in which case they will make an airplane and it will cost them a fortune to do it, or they will come back toward the best engineering and manufacturing standards and build a plane with less than 30 percent composites." -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 19-Jul-04"

Quoting CygnusChicago (Reply 39):
Quoting Kappel (Reply 20):
My point is that it's never good to take anything what the PR departments of big companies say for face value, they are always trying to put their own products in a better light.

Agreed, if Leahy wasn't pumping up his product, he should be fired. It's a little like those Hyundai vs. Lexus ads.

Pumping up your own product is natural, and to be expected. Not admitting you were wrong when you finally adopt the technology you criticized at length for almost two years is more than embarrassing - it puts your credibility at risk.

[Edited 2007-05-25 16:15:06]
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 11:15 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 32):
Fortunately for them, Boeing will not be able to come close to meeting all the demand for more efficient airliners by themselves, and there are airlines that have a pronounced preference for Airbus planes that will wait for the A350.

I disagree with this. Airbus key "loyal" customers (Virgin, AC, NW) have all already opted for the 787. US is in the balance, but I'd bet any further delay sends them to Boeing. All Airbus has left is Singapore and EK. On the other hand, many of Boeing's key loyal customers still have to order (Delta, American, United widebody fleet, BA widebody fleet).

The timing has lost this one for Airbus.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 35):
But it's interesting to me to speculate what Airbus upper management would have done differently if they had true appreciation of the scope of the oncoming A380 debacle, and if they had not been "caught napping"by the 787.

I am in total agreement on "caught napping by the 787". But I think it is not accurate to blame the current mid-size widebody mess on the A380. That is a total separate debacle. The A350 scenario heads way back to the A340 decision.

The chain of events in my mind:
- Airbus decides to build a "mini-jumbo" to replace 747s. Good decision, but they make it a few years too early, when it looked like ETOPS would never happen.
- The 777, a couple of years later, takes advantage of the new ETOPS certification, and Airbus has a brand-spanking new plane, that costs more to run
- With oil still at an okay price, instead of building an A340 replacement, Airbus goes "half-pregnant" and reacts to the 777 with an A340NG, oil promptly rises and the A340NG is close to still-born.
- Despite this, profits, revenues, orders and deliveries are at record highs, and Boeing is now offering 747NG Mk 5 to the airlines with no success, and Y3 Mk 2 (the 7E7), which is initially received with scepticism.
- Airbus decides to do nothing but re-engine the A350.
- Then, the flood comes in, and instead of acting, Airbus continues their "half-pregnant" decision making process, and we find ourselves where we are today...
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 11:17 pm

Quoting DAYflyer (Reply 30):
Funny thing is, you will never see the Airbus pundits admit this. I remember when we had all the anti-Boeing cries like "CFRP can't be done on this scale", or "barrels wont work, panels are the way to go", or "you cant do a whole fuselage out of it because of the mx problems with skin damage issues" and so forth.

Now Airbus does it and all is right with the world? What hypocrisy.

Funny thing is, you will never see the Boeing pundits admit this. I remember when we had all the anti-Airbus cries like "CFRP can't be done on this scale", or "the A320/30/40 is a dangerous, plastic plane, Al is the way to go", or "you can't fly large composite parts, they cannot stand up to the severe forces of flight" and so forth.

Now Boeing does it and all is right with the world? What hypocrisy.
 Yeah sure

[Edited 2007-05-25 16:25:29]
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 11:24 pm

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 43):
Not admitting you were wrong when you finally adopt the technology you criticized at length for almost two years is more than embarrassing - it puts your credibility at risk

If I recall correctly he did admit it. I'm too lazy to search now, but I think there was a thread on Leahy saying earlier this year that they totally underestimated the 787. If I recall incorrectly and he didn't admit it, well, then he should be working for AA, they seem to have a chronic inability to apologize for anything.

Anyway, I got to hand it to him for still being able to sell so many A330s over the past two years, in the face of the 787.
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 11:24 pm

Quoting Lokey123 (Reply 25):
This decision was actually made sometime late last year and disseminated to early 350 customers...just now being made public is all

That seems slightly hard to believe...I'm not saying I don't believe you, I just can't think of a single good reason for Airbus to make such a large decision "final" and then wait 9 months to tell anyone about it when it could swing sales negotiations and help stem the losing PR battle they're having vis-a-vis the 787. It just doesn't make sense to hide such a large charge for such a long period of time unless it truly WASN'T final until very recently...

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 40):
If you're talking about the aquatic kind, I wonder if an A380 type ship and trucking transportation solution would support the production rate an A350 line would need.

I'm certain you could...the problem is exposure. Shipping on the water means you need longer lead times on parts, and you have more outstanding inventory sitting out not making you money than if you fly parts around. Having a mass of multimillion eruo barrels in transit at one time increases your financial and production exposure considerably. The closer you can get to parts-on-demand, the cheaper and leaner your production cycle runs. Boeing has said repeatedly they could fall back to over-water shipping should the DreamLifters not work or have serious problems, but it was an absolute doomsday scenario from their standpoint because of how much outstanding stock it represents to do it profitably.
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 11:28 pm

EIS is easily pushed out another two years to 2015 at the least IMO. They have to develop the barrel technology that Boeing has already developed and patented. I seriously doubt Airbus' ability to deliver on their barrel fuselage promise in a short amount of time. In the meanwhile Boeing can develop a 777-composite which will kill the A350 even before its first flight.

I don't expect too many blue chip airlines to wait and I think Boeing will increase production to meet higher demand and crush the A350. Boeing will be gunning for the EK order and there'll be a quite a few defections from the A350WHATEVER to the 787.

The problem is that Airbus has to develop the technology and methods of production from scratch. That is not an easy thing to do...it takes a lot of time, trial and error and more importantly, a lot of money which Airbus doesn't seem have too much of. EIS is going to slip and they will lose valuable customers as a result....it give Boeing time to make a all composite Y3 or a composite 777 that would kill the A350-900 and A350-1000 before they even made their first flight.
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RE: ATWonline: A350 To Go Barrel Composite Fuselage

Fri May 25, 2007 11:47 pm

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 47):
That seems slightly hard to believe...I'm not saying I don't believe you, I just can't think of a single good reason for Airbus to make such a large decision "final" and then wait 9 months to tell anyone about it when it could swing sales negotiations and help stem the losing PR battle they're having vis-a-vis the 787. It just doesn't make sense to hide such a large charge for such a long period of time unless it truly WASN'T final until very recently...


The people who needed to know, the customers, knew. The general public doesn't buy airplanes...maybe there was still some internal debate at Airbus but the change was presented to customers as a done deal. However, I do know that they were having problems figuring out the integral stringer portion of the barrels and I'm sure this is just one of the many issues that they will have.
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