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LipeGIG
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A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:29 am

As part 2 become too long, and it's now archived we are starting a new one

Link to the previous:

A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 2 (by NZ1 Jan 6 2012 in Civil Aviation)

Please continue discussions here.


Enjoy!
LipeGIG
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CM
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:52 am

Continuing from the previous thread...

Quoting kmz (Reply 254):
It seems that Boing is now more flexible concerning interior customization.

The 787 program permits almost no airline customization, in the cabin or elsewhere. This was a significant strategy shift for Boeing compared to the 777 or 747 programs, where code-1 introductions often include massive engineering packages to accommodate new customer-unique features. Instead, the 787 program has a much more expansive "catalog", from which airlines can (are forced to) select their cabin and other aircraft options. Even items which used to be BFE (buyer furnished equipment) now are "CSE" (customer selectable equipment) and must be selected from the catalog. The 787 also does not have supplier selections for systems (other than for brakes and engines), further reducing the aircraft-to-aircraft differences between different operators' 787s.

This approach permits a basic and stable underlying systems and structures architecture for all aircraft coming through production and is one of the key enablers for the 787 to achieve higher production rates than other twin aisle aircraft. I believe we will see Boeing shift more toward this model in the future, including the next generation 777. It has been my understanding the A350 is taking a similar approach, dramatically reducing the opportunity for BFE and customer-unique customizations in the cabin.

In response to your comment, I would say Boeing is now much less flexible concerning interior customization than they were in the past. Particularly for the 787. However, given what I believe Airbus is doing with the A350, "flexibility" becomes a relative matter, as airlines really have no other options.
 
WarpSpeed
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:42 am

Quoting CM (Reply 1):
This approach permits a basic and stable underlying systems and structures architecture for all aircraft coming through production and is one of the key enablers for the 787 to achieve higher production rates than other twin aisle aircraft.

In addition, this approach makes the plane more attractive to lessors and financiers and, ironically, airlines. Less customization means an easier conversion of a frame from one airline to the next. With a more "liquid" form of collateral, banks are exposed to less risk and are more willing to provide financing. This translates into better financing terms allowing customers to lower their acquisition costs. The finance community was an integral part of the initial 787 design and shows the holistic approach Boeing took with the program.

http://boeingblogs.com/randy/archive.../bonding_with_united_airlines.html
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ferpe
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:51 am

Quoting CM (Reply 1):
n response to your comment, I would say Boeing is now much less flexible concerning interior customization than they were in the past. Particularly for the 787. However, given what I believe Airbus is doing with the A350, "flexibility" becomes a relative matter, as airlines really have no other options.

Airbus is doing exactly the same thing and for the same reasons, there is a catalog of possible interior choices that airlines can choose from. After the very free choice for the A380 and the cabling and other problems it created ( it was not small part of the reason for the cabling delays) Airbus decided they needed a more restricted model on the A350.

If Boeing had chosen this model for the 787 it must have been much easier for A to go the same way with the 350. kmz seems to have info that not all are happy with the choices in the present A350 catalog.
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CM
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:05 am

Quoting ferpe (Reply 3):
not all are happy with the choices in the present A350 catalog

It wouldn't surprise me a bit if this is the case. All widebody operators are deeply invested in their "brand", of which, the cabin is a huge element. Limiting operators to seat and monument suppliers which may not possess the intellectual property or capability of their usual supplier is deeply traumatic for the commercial people at the airline. The technical and finance people are very sensitive to key systems being sole-source, as well. I've watched this drama play out with dozens of carriers, as they get used to the new business model being taken on by the OEMs.

Despite the complaining, in my view this change will benefit everyone...

- - OEM's get a more stable product, lower recurring costs and simplified production.
- - Airlines get a more fungible and more liquid asset.
- - Suppliers get the entire slice of the pie, permitting them to take on greater developmental risk.

The trick to making it work is for Airbus and Boeing to select and manage suppliers in way which reduces the risk of sole-source in the aftermarket. They will also need to develop a truly robust catalog which permits the appearance of a high degree of customization in the cabin, while retaining a very basic and stable baseline aircraft underneath.
 
ferpe
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:17 am

There has been an official Airbus info release via AFP last week that the assembly of MSN5000 will start "in the next days" and that MSN001 will start FAL in the "early summer" and that MSN001 will fly approximately 6 months after start of FAL:

http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-eco/201...age-de-l-a350-bientot-commence.php

A also claim that the information about program status that was given by Fabrice Bregier at the Airbus new year press conference is still valid.

This info release from Airbus is to defy the rumors about further delays that has been circulating in the press in the last weeks according to AFP.

I am a bit surprised by the 6 months after FAL begin statement, this would mean MSN001 is flying before end of year   . I don't think this is correct, we will see first flight during Q1 2013 as announced by Airbus when the new timeplan was released.
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CM
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:32 am

Quoting ferpe (Reply 5):
I am a bit surprised by the 6 months after FAL begin statement

The 777 was exactly on plan and took 14 months from begin of FAL to First Flight. The 787 planned for 15 months, but ended up taking 36. I agree, the current "6 months" is just a placeholder until the time is right for Airbus to announce the revised schedule.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:11 pm

Quoting CM (Reply 4):
Limiting operators to seat and monument suppliers which may not possess the intellectual property or capability of their usual supplier is deeply traumatic for the commercial people at the airline.

Not sure about the A350, but the 787 catalog includes several top-line suppliers for each respective component; an airline might chafe that their favorite supplier isn't in there but they really can't claim the catalog supplier doesn't have the capability.

Quoting CM (Reply 4):
The technical and finance people are very sensitive to key systems being sole-source, as well.

As well they should be but it's important to note that sole-source is the rule, not the exception. Outside a very few of the avionics boxes, the cabin monuments & seats, and the engines the entire airplane is generally sole-source (or at least functionally sole-source in the case of some dual-sourced structure components).

Tom.
 
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:27 pm

Quoting ferpe (Reply 5):

There has been an official Airbus info release via AFP last week that the assembly of MSN5000 will start "in the next days" and that MSN001 will start FAL in the "early summer" and that MSN001 will fly approximately 6 months after start of FAL:
Quoting ferpe (Reply 5):
I am a bit surprised by the 6 months after FAL begin statement, this would mean MSN001 is flying before end of year   . I don't think this is correct, we will see first flight during Q1 2013 as announced by Airbus when the new timeplan was released.

Well... Beginning of july is still early summer... And a first flight six months later would indeed be in early 2013  
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EPA001
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:52 pm

Quoting Aircellist (Reply 8):
Well... Beginning of July is still early summer... And a first flight six months later would indeed be in early 2013  

All true. Nevertheless it seems that they are quite challenged to keep the original communicated schedule. Let's hope they can manage to do so.  .
 
ferpe
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:57 pm

Quoting Aircellist (Reply 8):
Well... Beginning of july is still early summer... And a first flight six months later would indeed be in early 2013

You are right (I am from South of Europe, high summer is August) or wrong (I am from North of Europe and summer is finished in August)  .

Anyway the info from CM is interesting, I have looked back on the A planning and the June 2011 plan (Le Bourget presentation) showed start FAL 1 Jan 2012 and first flight Q4 2012 = 9-12 month after FAL start (first FAL was still for MSN5000). Then in Dec 2012 this became FAL start somewhere Q1-Q2 2012 and First flight somewhere Q1-Q2 2013 = on average 12 months with spread up to 6 months.

So we can see that the planning scenario was about 9-12 month and then expanded to around 12 months with a larger uncertainty window but still shorter then the planned 14-15 month of 777 and 787, interesting  Wow! .
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kmz
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:13 pm

thanx for the feedback. honestly, i am not a fan of sole source and catalog item. i fully understand the need to simplify the processes and get more mature equipment on board-but there should be something in between.
if this continues this way, i could imagine that in the future there will be dedicated stc holder who take an almost empty a/c and install seats and galleys as wanted by the airline..
 
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kanban
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:22 pm

Ferpe, got any more pictures coming of the assembly/systems installation process?
 
Aircellist
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:27 pm

Quoting ferpe (Reply 10):
Quoting Aircellist (Reply 8):
Well... Beginning of july is still early summer... And a first flight six months later would indeed be in early 2013

You are right (I am from South of Europe, high summer is August) or wrong (I am from North of Europe and summer is finished in August)   .
indeed.

That question of the six months between start of final assembly and first flight... I suppose it would mean six months for the first flying example (MSN 001), so about eight or nine months after the start of the FAL per se, for the static testing MSN 5000. I guess part of the learning curve will already have kicked in...
"When I find out I was wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" -attributed to John Maynard Keynes
 
ferpe
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:00 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 12):
got any more pictures coming of the assembly/systems installation process?

I am certainly hunting for them  Wow! but the equipping is in A hands and they have tighter pub control then the tier 1s that did the structure subassemblies. Pity as they would be vary interesting from St Nazaire, Hamburg and Broughton,

Quoting Aircellist (Reply 13):
I suppose it would mean six months for the first flying example (MSN 001), so about eight or nine months after the start of the FAL per se, for the static testing MSN 5000. I guess part of the learning curve will already have kicked in...

I think the spokeperson or AFP got it wrong, given their timeplans it must be 6 months after FAL of MSN001.
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:22 am

Quoting ferpe (Reply 14):
Quoting Aircellist (Reply 13):
I suppose it would mean six months for the first flying example (MSN 001), so about eight or nine months after the start of the FAL per se, for the static testing MSN 5000. I guess part of the learning curve will already have kicked in...

I think the spokeperson or AFP got it wrong, given their timeplans it must be 6 months after FAL of MSN001.

That's what I thought I had written... English, sometimes, is difficult...  
"When I find out I was wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" -attributed to John Maynard Keynes
 
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kanban
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:23 am

Quoting ferpe (Reply 14):
I am certainly hunting for them

Airbus used to put out a monthly magazine that always had good articles on the production process.. However once I retired it was just too costly..
 
ferpe
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:35 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 16):
Airbus used to put out a monthly magazine that always had good articles on the production process.. However once I retired it was just too costly..

Do you mean this one (FAST) : http://www.airbus.com/support/publications/

Quoting Aircellist (Reply 15):
That's what I thought I had written...

However we decrypt both our english  it is way shorter then Boeings planned 14 and 15 month and even shorter then their actual times (don't know the actual time for 777), makes one wonder were A can be faster. Or have they just compressed this part of the timeplan when they started readjusting for the intial delays  Wow! .
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knoxibus
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:38 pm

Seems that fuselage S15-21 for the static test specimen was delivered by Beluga today to the Toulouse FAL!

Very impressive part. Appears it was delayed by one day due to the ATC strike in France  .
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kanban
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:19 pm

Quoting ferpe (Reply 17):
Do you mean this one (FAST)


No, it was a monthly and was more focused on production and PR for existing products... I see I referenced "la Journal Aerospatiale" , "Airbus Industrie Progress Reports" and "Revue Aerospatial" in my paper... I think it was the latter that was so open about the processes.
 
knoxibus
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:33 pm

I think the ones you mention date back to the Airbus GIE days, when Airbus was made of Aérospatiale, MBB, CASA, British Aerospace, and before EADS was created in 2000 when it became then a single company (Airbus I mean).

So I doubt these are still issued.
No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.
 
sf260
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:10 pm

Quoting ferpe (Reply 255):
I have no info on the progress on cabin test other then reading a specialized magazine article some month ago that basically quoted what you are saying that A did some changes to the A350 cabin that has not gone down well with everyone.

Anyone else who has some knowledge?

I read that too! I am stumbled this subject hasn't reached more attention up to now...

I think it was: http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...2_2012_p22-433856.xml&channel=comm

"Airbus will be forced to postpone its entry-into-service date by at least another year, due to the complex trickle-down effect of late design changes that is affecting various parts of the aircraft, but which is likely felt most painfully in the area of cabin installation, according to various industry sources. Costs are going up and supplier relations are being strained exponentially.

“The systems side is a nightmare,” says one CEO of a major Airbus supplier. “The interiors will be late by at least one year,” he believes. That does not mean that first flight is necessarily affected that much, because the initial flight tests will not need a functional cabin anyway. The full effect would not be felt until later in the flight-test campaign, when cabin testing is included."
 
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:35 pm

Quoting sf260 (Reply 21):
I read that too! I am stumbled this subject hasn't reached more attention up to now...

Bernstein Research believes EIS will slip to mid-2015, but I haven't seen a specific reason given for why they're so pessimistic.
 
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EPA001
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:08 pm

Bernstein research have been quite negative on many Airbus developments. Many of their predictions luckily did not become reality. So I want to see some official number first before I believe another Bernstein Research report.  .
 
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kanban
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:36 am

Quoting knoxibus (Reply 20):

I think the ones you mention date back to the Airbus GIE days

You're probably correct..I was doing my research paper in 1990
 
ferpe
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:41 am

Quoting knoxibus (Reply 18):
Seems that fuselage S15-21 for the static test specimen was delivered by Beluga today to the Toulouse FAL!

Great stuff, A is probably working on a press release with pictures right now, will be interesting to see.
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knoxibus
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:58 pm

Got them as well as tons of pictures but the press releases are all pictureless!

I am off to the FAL this afternoon to look at it live. But from the pictures, it looks mighty impressive, must have been very tight in the Beluga.
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:01 pm

Quoting sf260 (Reply 21):
I read that too! I am stumbled this subject hasn't reached more attention up to now...

I think it was: http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...2_2012_p22-433856.xml&channel=comm

"Airbus will be forced to postpone its entry-into-service date by at least another year, due to the complex trickle-down effect of late design changes that is affecting various parts of the aircraft, but which is likely felt most painfully in the area of cabin installation, according to various industry sources. Costs are going up and supplier relations are being strained exponentially.

“The systems side is a nightmare,” says one CEO of a major Airbus supplier. “The interiors will be late by at least one year,” he believes. That does not mean that first flight is necessarily affected that much, because the initial flight tests will not need a functional cabin anyway. The full effect would not be felt until later in the flight-test campaign, when cabin testing is included."

The article has been discussed in part 2 of this thread.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 22):
Bernstein Research believes EIS will slip to mid-2015, but I haven't seen a specific reason given for why they're so pessimistic.

I don't think the interiors will be the cause of a delay by that much. It could very well affect the projected production ramp and therefore how fast the first deliveries will follow each other. Could be the same story as with the first 787's  
Quoting knoxibus (Reply 26):
must have been very tight in the Beluga.

Maybe they've designed the XWB with the maximum possible width using the Beluga 
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Clipper136
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:28 pm

You can't beat the Experience.
 
ferpe
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:06 pm

Here the press release:

"Final assembly of the first A350 XWB is now underway at the brand new final assembly line in Toulouse. This latest step in the A350 XWB’s progress is achieved as Airbus starts joining the 19.7 metre long centre fuselage with the 21 metre long front fuselage.

This first A350 XWB airframe will be used for the static structural tests that all new aircraft undergo as part of their certification process. The assembly of the first flying A350 XWB, MSN1, will start during summer.

The centre fuselage was delivered to Toulouse on Wednesday 4th April 2012 by Beluga from Airbus in St Nazaire, France. The front fuselage was previously delivered from St Nazaire to the A350 XWB final assembly line on the 23rd December 2011. Delivery and installation of the aft fuselage from Hamburg, Germany will take place in the coming weeks, followed by the wings delivered from Airbus’ wing assembly site in Broughton, UK.

The A350 XWB fuselage is made up of three main sections - front, centre and aft. These will be joined together at the first main assembly station, Station 50. The nose landing-gear is also joined here. Once this stage is completed, the fuselage is transferred to Station 40 where the wings and tail sections are joined. In parallel to this, cabin installation will be carried out simultaneously to the wing-fuselage join up, as well as the “power on” of the aircraft systems. In this way, functional tests can start earlier than on previous programmes.

The A350 XWB is Airbus’ all new family of mid-size widebody airliners. These highly efficient aircraft bring together the latest in aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies to provide up to 25 percent better fuel efficiency and operating costs compared to current aircraft in the same size category. Over 70 percent of the A350 XWB’s weight-efficient airframe is made from advanced materials combining composites (53 percent), titanium and advanced aluminium alloys. The aircraft’s innovative all-new Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) fuselage results in lower fuel burn as well as easier maintenance. The A350 XWB benefits from Airbus’ high level of expertise in incorporating composite material into its aircraft.

The A350 XWB Family consists of three passenger versions with true long-range capability of flying up to 8,500nm/15,580km. In a typical three-class configuration, the A350-800 will offer 270 seats while the A350-900 and the A350-1000 will offer 314 and 350 seats respectively."


And here the pictures:

Forebody is waiting since Christmas:
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm262/ferpe_bucket/A350_XWB_FAL_Start_41.jpg

The center section arrives:
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm262/ferpe_bucket/A350_XWB_FAL_Start_11.jpg

Is gradually adjusted to forebody:
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm262/ferpe_bucket/A350_XWB_FAL_Start_21.jpg

http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm262/ferpe_bucket/A350_XWB_FAL_Start_51.jpg

And joining can begin:


[Edited 2012-04-05 12:12:09]
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747400sp
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:48 pm

I believe the A350 will be the best looking Airbus ever built.      
 
maxter
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:01 am

Quoting 747400sp (Reply 30):
I believe the A350 will be the best looking Airbus ever built

Amen to that, but will the wings be as graceful as those of the the A380?

I hope to be in Europe mid next year, is it difficult to get on a tour of the assembly facilities for a member of the public?
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ferpe
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:05 am

Flightblogger has an excellent overview of the FAL procedure at TLS.

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/fl...-formally-activates-a350.html#more

Here a resume:
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm262/ferpe_bucket/FALoverview.jpg

Sections get unloaded from Beluga into P59 where some large interior stuff gets installed (like crew rests) when they have good access. Then the sections gets joined at P50 (A and B, FAL has 2 parallel stations everywhere). NLG and a temp MLG install enables a move to P40 where a simultaneous Wing, HTP, VTP, MLG and power on + first cabin install can be made. Final cabin install + slats, flaps, LG checks are made at P30. Then free air pressurization and radio test followed by painting in painting hangar (not shown) and finally cabin + engine install is done at A50 hangar. Then flight line check out, test flight and delivery  (except for MSN5000 which is rolled over to TLSs torture chamber  Wow!).

[Edited 2012-04-05 19:10:18]
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kanban
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:05 am

Quoting ferpe (Reply 32):
Sections get unloaded from Beluga into P59 where some large interior stuff gets installed (like crew rests) when they have good access. Then the sections gets joined at P50 (A and B, FAL has 2 parallel stations everywhere). NLG and a temp MLG install enables a move to P40 where a simultaneous Wing, HTP, VTP, MLG and power on + first cabin install can be made. Final cabin install + slats, flaps, LG checks are made at P30. Then free air pressurization and radio test followed by painting in painting hangar (not shown) and finally cabin + engine install is done at A50 hangar. Then flight line check out, test flight and delivery



Ferpe, as we have talked about differences and commonalities in general before, it's starting to come together. What I see as positive is the nose in docking.. much less need for movable tooling and scaffolding. What I don't see as productive (based on just what is presented and there may well be good reasons) are two things.. the use of a temporary MLG and installing engines after paint.. both appear to lead to a doubling of some processes. I'm really having trouble with that gear issue... Maybe it's all semantics..without the wing to attach part of the gear to, would a better term than MLG be a transport dolly? Something the fuselage rests on for towing but could not in anyway be mistaken for MLG. Instead of rolling the fuselage can it not be lifted and craned to position 40? and that may be the constraint in the building..

The orientation of position must be dictated by the Beluga unload process.. as it looks awkward to have to lift and rotate 90 degs. to place the units in position 50A/B.. not un-doable though.

It also looks like the best they can do is a 3-5 a month rate unless some additional outfitting is moved back to and even prior to position 59.

again I am just trying to understand what I see
 
ferpe
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:23 am

For those who want to follow the discussion where it started:

www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/tech_ops/read.main/313604/#132

Quoting kanban (Reply 33):
would a better term than MLG be a transport dolly

Yes, your are right, I used temp MLG as a shorthand, it should be a dolly attached to 4 strongpoints in the wheel well, should be a 10 min job on and later of.

Re craning of things, I think they wheel the fuselages between the stations, ie back out the fuselage from P50 and roll over to P40 then back out to P30 as so on. The dolly to go from P59 to P50 for the sections are on the pictures, the intra station transportation paths are outside in free air, not in the building. There is also a direct unloading of the Beluga into P59:




Re the mounting of the engines at Hangar A50, what do you see as double work? Once again doing system checks?

Quoting kanban (Reply 33):
It also looks like the best they can do is a 3-5 a month rate unless some additional outfitting is moved back to and even prior to position 59.

They have planned this whole setup for a 10 per month rate. Can the fixed (and therefore more elaborate) tooling and shaffolding help with the setup times and the time on station?

[Edited 2012-04-06 00:28:25]
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kanban
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:22 pm

Quoting ferpe (Reply 34):
it should be a dolly attached to 4 strongpoints in the wheel well, should be a 10 min job on and later of.


That makes sense.. I'm also guessing that the buildings interior posts preclude a crane operation across the bays. In fact looking at the pictures again there don't appear to be crane tracks in most of them... maybe they are just outside the frame or not the massive interconnected runs we use. (I.e. there are crossovers between the 4-81 and 4-82 buildings that allow a 737 fuselage to enter one building for initial work then be flown to the other for wing join. Although with the moving line that may not be done anymore.

From direct lessons in 707, 727, 737, 757, 747 and anecdotal for the other models, the tug driven line move generally will cost production 1-2 shifts every time.. and that was the basis of my seeing constraints in production. The problem is not just hooking up an going, but clearing tooling, workstations support equipment etc and sweeping before the move begins and since you start at the most complete fuselage and work back any delay becomes multiplied.

Quoting ferpe (Reply 34):
Re the mounting of the engines at Hangar A50, what do you see as double work? Once again doing system checks


Paint.. a second trip to the paint hanger... unless all the nacelles are painted when the airframe is painted, or no customer paint is allowed and they arrive in standard color.

Just a difference between operations, we pressure test in the FAL on third shift.. no need to take it outside.

Quoting ferpe (Reply 34):
They have planned this whole setup for a 10 per month rate.



I think the bottleneck will reside in the first four positions. Are they planning a 3 shift operation?
 
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:38 am

Here the principle of the 350 FAL and how A changed it to start the elaborate Cabin install earlier compared to 330-340:

http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm262/ferpe_bucket/A350FALconcept.jpg

Quoting kanban (Reply 35):
Paint.. a second trip to the paint hanger... unless all the nacelles are painted when the airframe is painted

I am convinced the nacelles join the frame to get painted at the same time. The 350 FAL share the A50 hangar with the 330-340 FAL which also hangs the engines at the end.

Quoting kanban (Reply 35):
The problem (of the B moving line) is not just hooking up and going, but clearing tooling, workstations support equipment etc and sweeping before the move begins and since you start at the most complete fuselage and work back any delay becomes multiplied.

I can understand the immediate knock-on effect any station delay would have for the moving line. A less coupled station concept like A would have some inter station flexibility. They would need to keep the station time to 3 days for a 10 per month rate, ultimately things would queue before the delayed station but it would not stop the intra station rotation at all other places like the moving line.

Quoting kanban (Reply 35):

I think the bottleneck will reside in the first four positions. Are they planning a 3 shift operation?

As the cabin outfitting is the dimensioning item per the A flow diagram the amount of time needed at FAL will heavily depend on how much of this could be done at PreFAL, I would assume all systems including avionics installed and cabin preparation job done to before insulation installation with central IFE avionics + cabling done.

At FAL crew rest then any additional behind insulation installation then insulation + walls + roofs, gallyes, toilets and any BFE items, overhead racks and then checking all the systems. At A50 seats + IFE boxes and testing of the whole lot. (those in the know please correct-chip in ).

I don't think you can run such an investment without 3 shift operation.

[Edited 2012-04-06 22:02:46]
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:50 am

Quoting 747400sp (Reply 30):
I believe the A350 will be the best looking Airbus ever built.

Don't think it will match the A340 in being the worlds sexiest airliner ..., but that's what I think  
 
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:13 pm

Quoting ferpe (Reply 36):
I don't think you can run such an investment without 3 shift operation.


thanks ferpe, your graphs explain a lot.. now I guess we just watch and learn. Please note there is no single correct way to run a FAL, there are many and learning about other options is my goal.

Although just for kicks let's keep an eye on those nacelles...
 
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:31 pm

Quoting ferpe (Reply 36):
As the cabin outfitting is the dimensioning item per the A flow diagram the amount of time needed at FAL will heavily depend on how much of this could be done at PreFAL, I would assume all systems including avionics installed and cabin preparation job done to before insulation installation with central IFE avionics + cabling done.

At FAL crew rest then any additional behind insulation installation then insulation + walls + roofs, gallyes, toilets and any BFE items, overhead racks and then checking all the systems. At A50 seats + IFE boxes and testing of the whole lot. (those in the know please correct-chip in&nbsp Wink.

Thanks indeed, ferpe. I smell heavy learning, here, from the lengthy A380 outfitting process... Although I'm totally ready to be corrected: how much of the cabin installation is done, in the A380, on the FAL?
"When I find out I was wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" -attributed to John Maynard Keynes
 
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:08 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 38):
Please note there is no single correct way to run a FAL, there are many and learning about other options is my goal.

That is what is so fascinating about production, studied it at tech university then was thrown into the wolfs nest when the Airforce put me to match the fighter OEMs battle proven production guys as we procured our next fighter. The only thing stopping them eating me verbally and spitting me out was that they realized I could fly the damn thing at the end of FAL and they couldn't . We had a lot of fun and they really were nice with me at the time (= they tolerated me and my youthful enthusiasm)  Wow! .

There must have been many reasons for Boeing going with the moving FAL, could you describe these, it would be very interesting to know?

Quoting Aircellist (Reply 39):
how much of the cabin installation is done, in the A380, on the FAL?

I would not know but I am convinced we have many others who know   .

[Edited 2012-04-07 17:27:34]
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:28 am

Re the A350 FAL, this Airbus video shows it in more detail:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVhy-8oD0hA


Here the steps according to this video:

Beluga is unloaded at the Beluga freight terminal, sections goes on dolleys to preassembly site P59.


P59
Items who are to big to pass trough the doors are fitted here (crew rest, big galleys-toilets, ...):



P50
Fuselage join and MLG dolley added:



P40
Wings added, MLG, HTP, VTP are mounted and after power on the rest of the galleys, toilets, overhead bins, floors covers are added at the same time as the structural assemblies are hooked up system wise. I was puzzeled why they dragged the next LN wings in there as well but it is to reduce the change time, just tow the next fuselage in and you can start the wing join:
.


P30
This is wrongly labeled as being shared with the 330-340 in the video, this does not seem likely as it was build for the A350 FAL in the 350 FAL building. Anyway while system checks of LG, Flaps, rudders etc are being made the seats are added, presumably some cabin checks are done here as well:



P18
Outside check of pressure system, radio systems and ECS I would guess (does the APU run here to give power, hydraulics and bleed air? Would mean fuel residues in tanks while later painting, safety issues?):



then to Paint hangar, then


A50
Here final cabin items are added and checked at the same time as the engines are mounted:



Then to flight test station for final checks and test flights, finally delivery!

[Edited 2012-04-08 02:49:33]
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:58 am

A perfect overview of the individual phases which will create the A350!   Thanks.
 
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:00 am

Quoting ferpe (Reply 41):

Great post ferpe. Nice to see how the FAL will work
 
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:30 am

I think in many ways, the A350 program will be Airbus' most important money-making venture, since it's not a "prestige" model like the A380. I do like the fact that Airbus will be using existing facilities used in A330 production for final fit-out of the plane, which will save a LOT on production costs.
 
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:00 pm

Interesting as usual... I noticed the position 30 has the a/c 'nose in' in your earlier layout (post 32) and 'tail in' in the video.. I believe the A330 is tail in.. The advantage of the 'nose in' is more sub assemblies are in the forward part of the a/c than in the aft.

Position 59 is likewise different.. the architectural drawing shows scaffolding and docking positions for the component load, the video makes it appear that they will be working on the sections while still in the transportation dollies.

One difference between manufactures I notice is the prevalence of raised decking in the pictures above.. This was a Boeing bottleneck as everything needed to be craned or forklifed up.. This plan shows some what appear to be elevator towers in positions 30 and 50, over time those can be problematic as well. (we stopped the 757 line once because the two elevators between the shop and the parts storage both broke, and the crane tracks didn't extend into the parts area.) I notice Boeing is using much smaller decking and conveyor belts (like cargo loaders) to move components directly from the shop floor to the a/c doors.

I fear that a reasons for the Boeing moving line post here would be viewed as off topic by some, so won't post it here. I need to do some quick research to see if there were other threads, then put the discussion in the Tech Forum.
 
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:24 pm

Thanks kanban, it's a luxury for the thread to have a production guy like you who comments and compare with other concepts   .

Quoting kanban (Reply 45):
I noticed the position 30 has the a/c 'nose in' in your earlier layout (post 32) and 'tail in' in the video..
Quoting kanban (Reply 45):
Position 59 is likewise different.. the architectural drawing shows scaffolding and docking positions for the component load, the video makes it appear that they will be working on the sections while still in the transportation dollies

The video is rather old (it is from this Jan 2009 FAL minisite: http://events.airbus.com/a350/fal_groundbreaking_ceremony/index.html ), the drawing Flightblogger posted should be current, I think we can assume it is the final layout:
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm262/ferpe_bucket/FALoverview.jpg
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm262/ferpe_bucket/FALbuilding2.jpg

Quoting kanban (Reply 45):
I fear that a reasons for the Boeing moving line post here would be viewed as off topic by some, so won't post it here. I need to do some quick research to see if there were other threads, then put the discussion in the Tech Forum.

As we most likely will dissect it a bit  this is probably prudent.



I thing that strikes me is the double bays at all stations (except for A50 which has 4 but this is shared with 330), this means of course that station time is 6 days not 3    for full bore production rate of 10 a month. If these double stations are gradually equipped and manned this could help with producing the 5 test frames A will need in a very short time after autumn 2012 when MSN001 rolls of the FAL. Here the schedule I hypothesized before:


FAL no...........FRAME.................FAL start..........Use.........................

FAL1..............MSN5000...............April.................Static tests @TLS

FAL2...............MSN001...............July-?................First flight test aircraft

FAL3 ..............MSN003...............Oct? .................Second flight test aircraft

FAL4...............EF1, 2 , 3............Dec?..................Fatigue specimen tested in 3 parts @IABG

FAL5...............MSN002...............Jan 13?.............Cabin test aircraft

FAL6...............MSN004...............Feb13?..............System test?

FAL7...............MSN005...............March13?...........Cabin equipped, NAMS, ETOPS?


With EIS summer 2014 as planned they need to have these 7 frames in the air Q3-Q4 2013 latest which means coming of FAL of the 5th end summer 2013. Here the dual FAL lines could help given the have people to man them. Airbus will hire 4000 persons this year, they will migrate 320-380 experienced personell to the 350 program and backfill the former.

The PreFAL sites also has double stations, some seems to be running both already as seen from St Nazaire fore and mid fuselage stations.

This differs from the 787 production setup where the second FAL kicked in at LN46, here the dual FAL and preFAL could be up and running from LN 1 or some frames later. This will help with the ramp given that the supply chain can keep pace.

[Edited 2012-04-08 10:25:47]
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:50 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 35):
Paint.. a second trip to the paint hanger... unless all the nacelles are painted when the airframe is painted, or no customer paint is allowed and they arrive in standard color.

I can not see the problem painting the nacelles at the customer wishes before they arrive to the FAL . The rudder arrives painted, at least on 380, before it is shipped to the FAL.
 
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:11 am

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 47):
I can not see the problem painting the nacelles


Painting the cowling components is only part of it.. there are all the external fasteners added during installation. There are scratches and dings no matter how careful one is and there is always the chance of getting the wrong color/shade.

Rudders are generally painted because they need to be balanced before being hung. also all attach points are hidden behind panels and blade seals.

but then again this is a discussion of manufacturer's process differences... it's not a right or wrong situation.
 
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RE: A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3

Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:56 am

Quoting ferpe (Reply 46):
it is from this Jan 2009 FAL minisite: http://events.airbus.com/a350/fal_groundbreaking_ceremony/index.html

This site has a statement about the ultimate throughput time at TLS FAL and delivery center :

"When production reaches its peak (10 frames per month cadence), the whole process, from start of final assembly to delivery to our customer, will take two and a half months, representing a 30 percent lead-time saving (over the 330 process)."


Taking the P59 to P18 steps as 6 days each and A50 as 12 days (ultimately the A350 will have this 4 stations to it selves) we have 6*6+12= 48 days.

Add another 1-2 days for the Beluga unloading, this leaves something like 25 days for final ground test, test flights, fixing of issues found and then final delivery. The delivery at the delivery center to an airline normally takes 5 days so then we have 20 days for the final ground tests, test flights and issue fixing. This seems quite much   , any takers?

BTW, is test flights on a workday schedule or on 7 days a week like the FAL? If the former we loose 4 days due to weekends, could also apply for the delivery center.
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