stirling
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Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:07 pm

Back in the 1960s the French had a winner on their hands, an aircraft that went on to sell 298 frames, the Caravelle.

Then, production stopped.
SUD-Aviation (Aerospatiale) had set the standard for short range jet aircraft, copied by no less than the world's top airframe builders; Boeing, Douglas, BAC, even Tupolev.
What happened?
Boeing went on to sell 1800 of it's competing 737 classic model, Douglas 1000 of theirs, BAC just 235 (if only they could have swapped out the RRs for some PWs like those on all other competing Western designs), and finally the Tu134 which was bought in significant numbers by Aeroflot and Warsaw Pact nations.

Here's my theory.....And I believe we have case of History Repeating Itself before our very eyes.

Now think back to the late 1960s and early 1970s, what else was BAC-Aerospatiale involved in?

You answered right if you said the Concorde.

The two builders were so caught up in the Supersonic Saviour of Transportation (The SST), that very little attention was given to the bread-and-butter designs that were doing something the Concorde was not....putting currency in the bank.

The BAC product the 1-11, could be considered by then standards as a moderately succesful aircraft, American, Braniff, Mohawk, and Aloha bought theirs new...and according to some unconfirmed research, was said to be able to turn a profit with just 15 of its seats filled.
But those engines.
If it were to grow, and compete, like the 737-100 had into the 737-200, and the DC-9-10 into the -30...it would need a new engine, but the Tay was still at least 20 years away.
However, they could have placed the same engines used by the 737 and DC-9, but the engineering required was all tied up in the Concorde.

The French with the Caravelle, had a similar story. Let's just forget that it was one of the most elegant designs ever to fly, looking at the Caravelle was in the same league as looking at other French classics, like actresses Capucine, Brigette Bardot, or Catherine Deneuve!
But they weren't just good to look at....they were great aircraft, an order by the largest airline in the free world says much about your product.

So what went wrong here? Like a beautiful French starlet, she was thin and lean...hampered by inadequate storage space and passenger capacity for the world's growing hungry airlines. But it wasn't all bad, Air Inter sent the girl to school to learn how to land free of pesky pilot control...beating comparable systems on the competition by some 2 to 3 years.
However in the early 70s when the 737 and DC9 were coming into their own, the final Caravelle rolled off the line bound for Sterling.

Aerospatiale discussed the idea of a third engine like the 727 which was doing it's own small part in redefining what a medium short range aircraft should be....The X210, a three engine Caravelle could have come to life, if it were not for the same reasons that condemned the BAC 1-11. The majority of Aerospatiale resources were tied up in the Prestige jet, rather than the profits jet.

So here we are, four decades later, can you see any parallels to current events?

The A350....imagine where it would be today if the A380 were not being developed. I am not arguing the validity of the behemoth, because of the fact it has over 100 firm committments, there is a market for the airplane.

I can see the A350 when it comes out, as being a superior product to the B787, by the simple fact Airbus (descendant of Aerospatiale) will have had more time to assimilate, evaluate, and implement technology that the B787 will bear to the market. Being last is not always a bad thing....however, when it means the competition has a 500 plane headstart before either take to the skies is not good either.

Just like it seemed in those days (for those of us who were around at the time), I can't help but have a modicum of deja vu when it comes to the A380. I cannot wait for this aircraft to enter service. The B787 while a stunning aircraft, will be lost on 90% of the population. To most people it will be no different than the current stable of B767s, A330s, and B77s.
But the A380! This aircraft will get even the casual observer excited!
Just as the Concorde did in the 1970s....
While the Americans sat back and cranked out the 737/727 and the DC9, some of the biggest brains in aerospace were taking a giant leap forward in technology. Where did it get them? Well, that I will leave up for debate.

We've come full circle...The Concorde and A380 are masterful pieces of engineering, but with hindsight being as it is 20/20....30 years down the road when just 250 A380s are in service, and only a few more A350s, will we be able to say the A380 was worth it? to Airbus?, to Europe?, to the state of Aerospace?, especially at the expense of the everyday, everymans, world beating A350?
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Stitch
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:13 pm

The A380 program has drawn a good deal of resources at all stages of it's life-cycle. And Airbus certainly underestimated the underlying strength of the 787 concept when it was first announced.

However, it does appear that Airbus management understands the risks and if the EU governments won't let them adjust to answer them, will open the coffers as needed to answer them.

As for the A350X, I see no reason why it won't be a great plane, perhaps the equal of the 787 overall, but I don't see it being intrinsically superior to the 787. Engine technology will not have advanced much at all between their respective EIS' and it remains to be seen which CFRP production process proves the more compelling one.
 
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:53 pm

Quoting Stirling (Thread starter):
So here we are, four decades later, can you see any parallels to current events?

No...

The 737 was a flop intially, the B2707 was being developed at the same time as Concorde, the 747 had tremendous intial problems with the JTD9s and delivery, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.
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MX757
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:01 pm

Oh Boy! I can see this turning into an A vs B thread real fast! box 
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RichardPrice
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:06 pm

Quoting Planemaker (Reply 2):
the 747 had tremendous intial problems with the JTD9s and delivery, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

No, it didnt, its a myth propagated here on a.net. The 747 engine problems were resolved in a few weeks, delivery was not really affected.
 
sparkingwave
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:50 pm

[quote=Stirling,reply=0]I can see the A350 when it comes out, as being a superior product to the B787, by the simple fact Airbus (descendant of Aerospatiale) will have had more time to assimilate, evaluate, and implement technology that the B787 will bear to the market. Being last is not always a bad thing....

It would be a good thing if Airbus was using innovative technology on the A350XWB, but compared to the B787, it is not. This airplane is great because it's wider than other Airbus aircraft. But it's a 777-wannabe, pure and simple. It's definitely NOT going to be a 787 beater. And being last is not a bad thing for who, Airbus or Boeing? After all, the latter will have a better 777 when the A350 comes out, whenever in time that will be.

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ZRH
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:13 pm

At the moment this is quite a silly statement. It is really not yet time to say anything. The EIS is often not too important. It depends on the aircraft and the needs of the airlines. Example: the 777 came after the 340 but is more successful.
 
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:44 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 4):
No, it didnt, its a myth propagated here on a.net. The 747 engine problems were resolved in a few weeks, delivery was not really affected.

Resolved in only a few weeks? Delivery not really affected? Well, seeing that you now set the record straight on A.net, perhaps you can correct the following, among many others, as well that are propagating the "myth"! A conspiracy perhaps?  Wink

Flight tests between February and December revealed several problems, the most significant with the engines, which were underpowered for the increase in weight and size that had occurred since earlier designs. The engine problem hadn't been solved by the time the plane entered service in January 1970, and airlines experienced one delay after another because of engine troubles. At one point early in 1970, Boeing had some 30 planes parked at its plant that could not be delivered until Pratt & Whitney had corrected the deficiencies of its JT-9D engine. It took a year before the engine problems were solved. In the meantime, too little money was coming in, the country was experiencing an economic recession, and new orders were drying up. The company almost went broke.

http://www.centennialofflight.gov/es...ay/Aerospace/Boeing_747/Aero21.htm


"Delays and cancelled flights soon gave the 747 the nickname "Dumbo Jet", the flying white elephant. At the beginning of the 70s problems with the engines went so far that up to 30 completed Jumbos had to be stored in Everett with concrete blocks instead of engines under their wings."

http://www.flug-revue.rotor.com/FRheft/FRH9904/FR9904e.htm
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stirling
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:00 am

Quoting Planemaker (Reply 7):
The engine problem hadn't been solved by the time the plane entered service in January 1970,

Maybe some of my fellow geezers will remember the inaugral passenger flight from JFK...that big nose pressed up against the glass of the terminal, not going anywhere.
Someone will better know specifics that first flight was many hours late....but at the time, people did not get so worked up, after all, it was the world's largest passenger airplane; something worth waiting for.

However, to say the 747 entry into service was smooth sailing, is an attempt at rewriting history.

Quoting ZRH (Reply 6):
At the moment this is quite a silly statement.

Which one in particular?

So, the A380 IS NOT deverting away resources from the A350 program?
Let's pretend the A380 did not exist, would the A350 be at the same stage it finds itself in today?
Resources is more than just money, in aircraft development, it is more closely associated with brain power....and from where I sit, the best brains at Airbus are all involved in making that first delivery.

It is certainly correct to say the A340 was offered first, and is now being usurped by the 777....however, how big of lead was it actually? Because even while the A340 was being rolled off the line, the 777 had blue-chip orders from airlines such as United and British Airways.
How many blue-chip orders can the A350 claim today?

I will remain by my conclusion, the A380 program is the Concorde program 30 years on. The A350, still without a firm design being offered, is the Caravelle, and the BAC 1-11, Fine aircraft in every way, if not a little ignored by their makers.

But you are correct in that a lot can happen between now and the EIS of all the aircraft in question.

To me, it looks like another case of seeking prestige for the sake of practicality.
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keesje
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:13 am

SUD-Aviation had a shortage of everything, their factories destroeyed, no money, no people etc. They still build the best aircraft of it's time.

Airbus is the #1 aircraft builder and they have sold 100 A350 6 years before its first EIS, so any comparison seems far fetched IMO.

Is The Dreamliner A Modern Day Starship?

Sure somebody can come up with some nice comparisons, but quiet useless IMO.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
bbobbo
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:24 am

Quoting Stirling (Thread starter):
I can see the A350 when it comes out, as being a superior product to the B787, by the simple fact Airbus (descendant of Aerospatiale) will have had more time to assimilate, evaluate, and implement technology that the B787 will bear to the market.

1. EIS for the A350 will be 5 years after the 787. Will technology have changed that much in 5 years to give the A350 that much more of an advanced product?

2. A 2013-EIS A350 might be more advanced technologically than a 2008-EIS 787, but will it more advanced than a 2013-EIS 787? Keep in mind that Boeing will be continually refining the 787 after EIS, incorporating new technologies where possible. Same goes for the 777.

Quoting Stirling (Reply 8):
I will remain by my conclusion, the A380 program is the Concorde program 30 years on.

Maybe not quite the financial disaster the Concorde was. But it remains to be seen how many A380s end up getting delivered. I think the analogy is fitting, though.
 
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:38 am

Quoting Stirling (Thread starter):
I can see the A350 when it comes out, as being a superior product to the B787, by the simple fact Airbus (descendant of Aerospatiale) will have had more time to assimilate, evaluate, and implement technology that the B787 will bear to the market.

This nonsense is being repeated far too often. It assumes that technology advances in some linear fashion, which it certainly does not. What new technology is coming available now that was not incorporated in the 787? What new technology may come available in the next few years that cannot be fitted to the 787 (an aircraft specifically designed for such retrofits)? From what we know so far, the A350 fuselage is an inferior application of CFRP construction, despite Airbus arguments to the contrary.

Quoting Stirling (Thread starter):
Being last is not always a bad thing...

Hmmm...has there been a case of two contemporary designs where being last was a good thing? Name one. scratchchin 

Quoting Keesje (Reply 9):
Airbus is the #1 aircraft builder and they have sold 100 A350 6 years before its first EIS,

The airlines that placed those 100 orders did not expect 6 years to EIS, and likely would not have placed those orders had they known.

Quoting Stirling (Reply 8):
However, to say the 747 entry into service was smooth sailing, is an attempt at rewriting history.

Attempting to make the B747 EIS look more problematic than it actually was is also rewriting history. More important is that it ignores the decades of advancement in project management; we should expect better execution today than we did 40 years ago.
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RichardPrice
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:48 am

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 11):
Hmmm...has there been a case of two contemporary designs where being last was a good thing? Name one.

777 and A340.
 
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:57 am

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 11):
Hmmm...has there been a case of two contemporary designs where being last was a good thing? Name one.

Comet/Nimrod vs. 707/DC-8.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
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keesje
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:59 am

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 11):
Attempting to make the B747 EIS look more problematic than it actually was is also rewriting history. More important is that it ignores the decades of advancement in project management; we should expect better execution today than we did 40 years ago.

Some time ago there was a senior here remembering large parts of the first 3 747s had to be rewired due to poor configuration control. Maybe projects before 1997 look good because there are no internet sources to prove the contrary?

I think some folks should wait a bit with cashing in on good project management claims until the 787 really is entered into service  Wink

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 11):
From what we know so far, the A350 fuselage is an inferior application of CFRP construction, despite Airbus arguments to the contrary.

I think this statement requires extensive, well documented back-up, or else it is just ..
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:02 am

Quoting Stirling (Thread starter):
So here we are, four decades later, can you see any parallels to current events?

The A350....imagine where it would be today if the A380 were not being developed. I am not arguing the validity of the behemoth, because of the fact it has over 100 firm committments, there is a market for the airplane.

You premise is that had the A380 not been built, the A350 would have been started sooner. Given that, I heartily agree that Airbus would be better off.

But that wouldn't have happened. Airbus truly underestimated the market response to the B787. Those 100 firm orders were for the A330+ version, not the A350XWB now proposed. There was no prospect that lacking the A380, Airbus would have offered an all-CFRP XWB years earlier.

Your Caravelle analogy simply doesn't work. Caravelle was in production, and advancement of the design was hindered due to the distractions of Concorde. In the current situation, the A380 is built and I doubt that there will be substantial resources dedicated to advancement of that design from now on. The focus will be on A350...so if anything, we might argue that the future of the A380 is cloudy because Airbus will dedicate resources to the A350 - not the other way around.
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:05 am

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 11):
From what we know so far, the A350 fuselage is an inferior application of CFRP construction, despite Airbus arguments to the contrary.

In reality we dont know. Both methods have their pros and cons. Only time will reveal.
 
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:20 am

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 11):
Hmmm...has there been a case of two contemporary designs where being last was a good thing? Name one

The Japanese and the semiconductor developed by Bell Labs.
First is good, being better is best.
The 727 and every other medium-haul airliner launched before it.

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 11):
What new technology is coming available now that was not incorporated in the 787? What new technology may come available in the next few years that cannot be fitted to the 787

Five years is a very long time in aerospace and aviation.
Just look at the engines of the 707s coming off the line in 1960, and then in 1965.
Engine technology is the most fluid, and one of the most direct variables in the operating cost of an aircraft.

If I were to agree with your statement, that would mean we have reached the peak of turbofan engine design and no improvements can be made from here on out.

One thing I don't hear much about is the A350 wing....has it reached its design limits?
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leelaw
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:21 am

Quoting Planemaker (Reply 7):
At one point early in 1970, Boeing had some 30 planes parked at its plant that could not be delivered until Pratt & Whitney had corrected the deficiencies of its JT-9D engine. It took a year before the engine problems were solved. In the meantime, too little money was coming in, the country was experiencing an economic recession, and new orders were drying up. The company almost went broke.

Oh dear, this urban legend once again.

The severe business set-back/contraction Boeing Commercial Aircraft experienced in the early-seventies was mostly attributable to the cancellation of the American SST program, and a moderate economic recession in the North American economy which hit the airline industry particularly hard, leading to a severe decline in orders, as well as order cancellations, across all product lines. Not the ramp-up of 747 production per se. In fact, so many people left the Puget Sound region to look for work elsewhere because of job cuts at Boeing and its local suppliers, that two local real estate agents put up a billboard reading "Will the last person leaving Seattle — Turn out the lights."



If anything, Boeing's ability to deliver 165 747s to 27 airline operators between December 1969 (month of "type" and "production" certification) and December 1971, despite significant "teething" problems with the JT9D engine, was most likely a source of much needed positive cash flow and contributed to the company's ultimate recovery.
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RichardPrice
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:23 am

Quoting Stirling (Reply 17):

One thing I don't hear much about is the A350 wing....has it reached its design limits?

What do you mean? It was announced at the industrial launch (the latest one  Smile ) that the A350 wing would be composite, just like the A400M wing.
 
TeamAmerica
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:37 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 12):
777 and A340

B777 wins most basically due to the decision to use 2 engines vs. 4. It wasn't better by being later, per se.

Quoting N328KF (Reply 13):
Comet/Nimrod vs. 707/DC-8.

Sort of, but there was almost a decade between the Comet I and the Dash 80...more like two generations of aircraft than contemporaries.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 14):
I think some folks should wait a bit with cashing in on good project management claims until the 787 really is entered into service

I remain skeptical of the 787 making scheduled EIS, although less so as it approaches. I'll agree with you that nobody should be counting the chickens yet.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 14):
I think this statement requires extensive, well documented back-up, or else it is just ..

It's been debated in several threads, Keesje. The Airbus design looks to be heavier, yet they claim it will be much lighter. I still call shenanigans, and am entitled to my opinion as are you.

Quoting Stirling (Reply 17):
The 727 and every other medium-haul airliner launched before it

Probably the best argument posted so far, but then consider the DC-9 which came in response (and the B737 as well). The 727 held it's own against later designs.

Quoting Stirling (Reply 17):
Engine technology is the most fluid, and one of the most direct variables in the operating cost of an aircraft

Best argument to be made, by far. The counter is that the 787 is designed to accept new engines in the future, so any significant advancement available to the A350 is equally available to the B787. I don't see an advantage to be later in this case.
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trex8
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:41 am

ooh, if it has those nifty windows like the Caravelle it would be great! I remember two trips on a TG and CI caravelle in the 60s!
 
bbobbo
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:46 am

Quoting Stirling (Reply 17):
Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 11):
What new technology is coming available now that was not incorporated in the 787? What new technology may come available in the next few years that cannot be fitted to the 787

Five years is a very long time in aerospace and aviation.
Just look at the engines of the 707s coming off the line in 1960, and then in 1965.
Engine technology is the most fluid, and one of the most direct variables in the operating cost of an aircraft.

But you didn't answer TeamAmerica--in those 5 years, what technology will the A350 have that can't be incorporated into the 787?

Quote:
If I were to agree with your statement, that would mean we have reached the peak of turbofan engine design and no improvements can be made from here on out.

I don't think he said that at all. What he said was this:

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 11):
It assumes that technology advances in some linear fashion, which it certainly does not.

I think what he's trying to say (and which I agree with), is that there may be minor technology advances from year to year, but major technology advances are more spread apart.

For example (and I'm just making these numbers up), engine efficiency doesn't necessarily improve 1% every year. Rather, it's constant for maybe 7-8 years, and then there's a technological breakthrough that allows efficiency to increase 5-10% in one fell swoop.

So, the question is, "Is there some big technological breakthrough on the horizon that will be incorporated on the A350 that cannot be incorporated into future iterations of the 787?"

If the answer is yes, then the A350 has a chance of being a much superior airplane compared to the 787.
 
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:49 am

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 20):
B777 wins most basically due to the decision to use 2 engines vs. 4. It wasn't better by being later, per se.

The engine technology (high thrust engines) for two engined operations at that weight was not available when the A340 was designed, but it was available by the time the 777 was designed. This also led to ETOPS 207 certification.

It was a twin precisely because it came later.
 
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keesje
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:00 am

Quoting Bbobbo (Reply 22):
"Is there some big technological breakthrough on the horizon that will be incorporated on the A350 that cannot be incorporated into future iterations of the 787?"

It's more simply: Ask the airline what they don't like on the 787 & don't do it on the A350.
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planemaker
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:13 am

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 18):
Oh dear, this urban legend once again.

What urban legend once again, specifically?
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TeamAmerica
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:14 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 23):
The engine technology (high thrust engines) for two engined operations at that weight was not available when the A340 was designed, but it was available by the time the 777 was designed. This also led to ETOPS 207 certification.

It was a twin precisely because it came later.

This is worthy of a thread of its own (probably has been). Would Airbus have built the big twin, or was it their intent to go with 4 engines all along? I think the latter is true; if Airbus has wanted to build the A340 as a twin they would have needed a different airframe, losing the commonality with the A330. I'm not dismissing your opinion here - you have a valid point. But could Airbus have had the high thrust engines if they had wanted them? It seems a chicken-or-the-egg argument. Boeing wanted the big twin, so they got the big engines. Could Airbus not have done so if they wanted?

This is not a rhetorical question. I'm curious as to whether there was a significant advance in engine technology to make the B777 possible, or did the desire to build the 777 drive the advance in engines...?
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RichardPrice
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:30 am

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 26):
Would Airbus have built the big twin, or was it their intent to go with 4 engines all along?

At the time the A340 was conceptualised it was to be a quad for ETOPS reasons - and we are talking about the start of the 1980s. The 777 was both a quad and a trijet several times in its design iteration, right up until they cancelled the project and relaunched it as a newly designed twin at the start of the 1990s.

Theres an entire decade between the conceptualisation of hte two aircraft.

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 26):
I'm curious as to whether there was a significant advance in engine technology to make the B777 possible, or did the desire to build the 777 drive the advance in engines...?

A bit of both I think - the capability existed by the time the 777 was, designed at least in concept form, otherwise the engine manufacturers wouldnt commit to something they potentially couldnt deliver. But Boeing would not have designed an airframe based on the potential the engine manufacturers could come up with the goods.
 
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:35 am

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 20):

Sort of, but there was almost a decade between the Comet I and the Dash 80...more like two generations of aircraft than contemporaries.

Ten years? The Comet first flight was in 1949, and entered service in 1952. The 367 had its first flight in 1952, and the 707's first flight was in 1957. Delivery began in 1958. So six years between the two. Not that dissimilar from some of the other pairs that we have been comparing.
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:42 am

IIRC, the A340 was built as a 4-holer because at the time there was no engine with sufficient thrust available to make it a twin with the required range.

Saw a show on the Caravelle yesterday, and it was mentioned that Aerospatiale did not update the Caravelle fast enough to keep up with all the iterations of the Boeing/McDD airplanes available.
 
flydreamliner
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:55 am

Quoting Stirling (Thread starter):
I can see the A350 when it comes out, as being a superior product to the B787, by the simple fact Airbus (descendant of Aerospatiale) will have had more time to assimilate, evaluate, and implement technology that the B787 will bear to the market. Being last is not always a bad thing....however, when it means the competition has a 500 plane headstart before either take to the skies is not good either.

Superior? What technologies are planned to be incorporated to A350 not in 787? So far it isn't certain it will have bleedless engines, and its implementation of composites is by all accounts, less sophisticated than the 787 barrel design - while A350 is more or less built like an aluminum aircraft out of composites. Boeing has been working on their composite technology for years while Airbus has been dead focused on their prestigious, though very much unprofitable A380, and never gave any attention to composites or the 787, which Leahy many times promised us would flop, and looks to sell 500+ before one even takes form.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 9):
Airbus is the #1 aircraft builder and they have sold 100 A350 6 years before its first EIS, so any comparison seems far fetched IMO.

Well, if Boeing delayed the 787 by 3 or 4 years, they could have sold over 400 6 years before EIS..... it's easy when you keep delaying your product. Or why don't they just cancel 787, start working on Y3, and just tell all the 787 buyers they are now getting Y3s, 3-4 years later than expected?

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 20):
B777 wins most basically due to the decision to use 2 engines vs. 4. It wasn't better by being later, per se.

The wider fuselage of 777 has also been a large contributor to its success, as well as its more efficient wing. The 777's greater structural efficiency is what allows the larger 773ER to carry more payload on less fuel (due to a lower empty weight) than the longer, though due to its narrower fuselage, smaller A346.

777 surprised everyone when it took flight and had a faster cruise speed and lower fuel burn than was initially anticipated.


A350 will be a good aircraft, though I truly believe Airbus has gotten themselves into a bind. A380 doesn't look like profitability is even a possibility at this point, even if Airbus proved they could build it (albeit years delayed) and that there was a market (even if it is only a fraction of what they projected initially), it took resources away from A350, and A350 simply will not be what it could have been if it had had more resources devoted to it, and if work had truly begun years earlier, had they taken composites and 787 seriously. The fact they have less time and fewer resources will impact the final product, and not positively. I'm sure it will be a fine airplane, but they just don't have their game together at Airbus. They have no real competitor to 787, which uses a more advanced composite technology, which likely will translate into a better advantage in weight savings, and Boeing is apt to start working on Y3, based on 787 technology, which likewise would share the same advantages over A350's panel and stringer construction.

Simply put, Airbus is capable of producing a better, more advanced aircraft than what they've got laid down for A350XWB, and had they had their game together, they would have done it, but because of resources diverted to work on A380's many issues, and the time constraints imposed by their massive failure to realize the potential of composites and the competition of 787, they won't realize their potential on this one.
"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
 
BoomBoom
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:59 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 14):
Some time ago there was a senior here remembering large parts of the first 3 747s had to be rewired due to poor configuration control.

I think this statement requires extensive, well documented back-up, or else it is just ...

Quoting Keesje (Reply 24):

It's more simply: Ask the airline what they don't like on the 787 & don't do it on the A350.

Actually, the exact opposite seems to be happening. Boeing makes a composite fuselage, Airbus makes one too. Boeing makes a double bubble fuselage, Airbus does too. Boeing puts the crew rest overhead, Airbus does too. Boeing makes larger windows, Airbus does too. Boeing increases humidity, Airbus does too.
Our eyes are open, our eyes are open--wide, wide, wide...
 
bbobbo
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:23 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 24):
It's more simply: Ask the airline what they don't like on the 787 & don't do it on the A350.

1. Assuming that there will be anything the airlines don't like. It's not a given, since the 787 was designed with a lot of customer input to begin with.

2. If there is anything the airlines don't like about the 787, will it be enough to make the airlines choose the A350 instead?

3. Can these dislikes (again, if any) be changed on the 787? The only things that seem like they couldn't be changed are very big things (e.g., the cabin width, use of wireless IFE, etc.).

Still nothing to show so far that the A350 will be a greatly superior airplane compared to the 787. Only vague conjectures.
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:24 am

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 30):
So far it isn't certain it will have bleedless engines

The A350 wont have bleedless engines, but its far from the holy grail of technologies some would have you believe.

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 30):
and its implementation of composites is by all accounts, less sophisticated than the 787 barrel design

Again, thats citing opinions on here from certain people - you have no idea of the sophistication in either case, its different approaches to a solution.

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 30):
while A350 is more or less built like an aluminum aircraft out of composites.

The technique is quite a way removed from the construction methods used for aluminium aircraft, other than the world 'panel' is used in both.

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 30):
and never gave any attention to composites or the 787,

Airbus has included significant quantities of composites in many of their aircraft, including models dating back to the 1970s. Or are we playing the 'restricted argument' game and limiting this discussion purely to areas in which Boeing is using now and Airbus isnt?

Quoting BoomBoom (Reply 31):
Actually, the exact opposite seems to be happening. Boeing makes a composite fuselage, Airbus makes one too. Boeing makes a double bubble fuselage, Airbus does too. Boeing puts the crew rest overhead, Airbus does too. Boeing makes larger windows, Airbus does too. Boeing increases humidity, Airbus does too.

And the one that started all this - Airbus creates a widebody twin, Boeing does too. Airbus uses composites to lighten aircraft structure, Boeing does too. Airbus uses fly by wire, Boeing does too. Airbus creates a VLA, Boeing pooh poohs the concept and then makes the 747-8 longer.

[Edited 2006-12-21 19:32:36]
 
jacobin777
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:48 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 23):

The engine technology (high thrust engines) for two engined operations at that weight was not available when the A340 was designed, but it was available by the time the 777 was designed. This also led to ETOPS 207 certification.

That's only partially correct....by the time the A345 and A346 were available/offered, the 777's had already been built and flying....its the A343 which you are specifically talking about...the first A340's were offered 2-3 years before the Boeing 777 was offered
"Up the Irons!"
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:53 am

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 34):
That's only partially correct....by the time the A345 and A346 were available/offered, the 777's had already been built and flying....its the A343 which you are specifically talking about...the first A340's were offered 2-3 years before the Boeing 777 was offered

Yes, but at that point, a move to a higher thrust twin would have required a substantially higher cost redesign than the stretches to the -500 and -600 types required.

Its all about cost, Airbus chose the cheaper route to gain a few more customers for a derivative rather than spend a lot more on a redesign which would have taken longer, cost more, taken up more resources alongside the A380 and potentially not have produced any more sales due to the fact that the market already went with the 777.
 
BoomBoom
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:55 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 33):
The A350 wont have bleedless engines, but its far from the holy grail of technologies some would have you believe.

Again, that's citing opinions on here from certain people - you have no idea of the sophistication...
Our eyes are open, our eyes are open--wide, wide, wide...
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:02 am

Quoting BoomBoom (Reply 36):
Again, that's citing opinions on here from certain people - you have no idea of the sophistication...

Wow, you are on fire tonight, thats several comments you have tried to turn around against people.

Its also not an opinion, bleedless technology is *one* single way of doing things, its not *the* only way of doing things. Therefore its not the holy grail of technologies that some people on this forum are making it out to be - alternatives exist, bleedless is not a make or break feature.

I also have a considerable understanding of the sophistications...

[Edited 2006-12-21 20:02:46]
 
leelaw
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:03 am

Quoting Planemaker (Reply 25):
What urban legend once again, specifically?

That the 747 program nearly bankrupted the Boeing Co in 1970-71. When in fact the Everett assembly line was actually a major source of positive cash-flow by the spring of 1970 (44 aircraft delivered by the end of May 1970), despite there having been up to 30 747s parked on the Everett ramp (some undeliverable due to a lack of serviceable engines) in January 1970.



Everett Flight Line, January 1970
Lex Ancilla Justitiae
 
EI321
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:08 am

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 34):
Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 23):

The engine technology (high thrust engines) for two engined operations at that weight was not available when the A340 was designed, but it was available by the time the 777 was designed. This also led to ETOPS 207 certification.

That's only partially correct....by the time the A345 and A346 were available/offered, the 777's had already been built and flying....its the A343 which you are specifically talking about...the first A340's were offered 2-3 years before the Boeing 777 was offered

The A340 was officially on offer since 1986.

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 26):
This is worthy of a thread of its own (probably has been). Would Airbus have built the big twin, or was it their intent to go with 4 engines all along?

Ok I'll explain the A340 design history as it is often misunderstud on this site. Some guys even seem to make up their own versions!

The two versions of the design emerged in 1986 at the A330 and A340, essentially they are the same aircraft.

Even though the A300 programme had a slow start, by the early 70s the company was looking at launching a long range family of aircraft, based around the A300 design. Two concepts took shape, the A300B9 and the A300B10. The B10 became the A310, but the 300 seat B9 was joined by a new version, the long range B11.

In 1980 the B11 became the TA11 (twin aisle 11). By 1982, the TA11 (A340) became a CFM56 powered airliner, with a range of 6830nm. Along with ETOPS issues, there were no planned engines powerful enough to allow the TA11 to be a twinjet. Airbus flirted with the design being a tri jet, looking at the RB211 and P&W JT10 engines. Both the TA11 and TA9 (A330) were given form at the Farnborugh show of 1982. By the 1983 Paris show, Airbus had refined the TA11 & TA9 designs to an extent that they treated the two as one programme, with the same fuselage, variable camber wing (later deleted), and cockpit from the A320. A Jan 1986 boardmeeting saw the TA11 given 'authority to offer' as the A340.

While a higher thrust version of the A320s CFM56, known as the CFM56-5S1 was initially to be offered on the A340, airbus intended to offer other engine options for the A340, the V2500 and a new ultra high bypass (UHB) design, known as a 'superfan'.

Airbus had concerns about performance of the engines under consideration, not helped by the emergence of the MD11 as a direct competitor, with performance similar to what airbus was promising with the CFM56. The superfan concept, which was being driven by IAE with the V2500 added an extra gear driven variable pitch ducted fan section to the existing turbo fan core, offering the required thrust at a much reduced fuel consumption. It would give Airbus a huge payload/range advantage over its competitor. Based on the predicted performance of the superfan, the A340 began to attract large customer interest. On Jan 15 1987, Lufthansa announced that it would buy 15 superfan powered A340s with 15 options. The German airline was soon followed by Northwest airlines, placing an order for 20 in march of the same year.

One week after the NW order, IAE announced that it would not proceed with the superfan design due to the technical risk involved. The superfan had been central to the A340s performance projections, and its demise meant that Airbus had to attempt to match its performance firgures using existing engine technology.
 
BoomBoom
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:09 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 33):
And the one that started all this - Airbus creates a widebody twin, Boeing does too. Airbus uses composites to lighten aircraft structure, Boeing does too. Airbus uses fly by wire, Boeing does too.

Too bad Airbus stopped innovating after the A320, now they're way behind...
Our eyes are open, our eyes are open--wide, wide, wide...
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:16 am

Quoting BoomBoom (Reply 40):
Too bad Airbus stopped innovating after the A320, now they're way behind...

Wow, you really REALLY *are* on fire tonight, go BoomBoom! Do you have a cheerleading squad as well?
 
jacobin777
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:22 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 35):

Yes, but at that point, a move to a higher thrust twin would have required a substantially higher cost redesign than the stretches to the -500 and -600 types required.

It was only a matter of time with oil starting to move up that "the writing on the wall" was blatantly clear..To make matters worse, Airbus started to spend hundreds of millions in the A340E, etc.....

There are a few A.netters such as Rheinbote who have been mentioning this for quite some time......

The loss in sales of the A345/A346 versus the B772F/LR/-300ER pales in comparison to the additional design costs..

The sad thing is that Airbus was a pioneer of large twins with the A300 and A310

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 35):
Its all about cost, Airbus chose the cheaper route to gain a few more customers for a derivative rather than spend a lot more on a redesign which would have taken longer, cost more, taken up more resources alongside the A380 and potentially not have produced any more sales due to the fact that the market already went with the 777.

The superiority of the 777's over the 340's were apparent even before the A380 was launched...Airbus has the A332/A333, and they knew the effectiveness of twins...

As I've been saying all along, the A380 has costed Airbus not only billions in its development (something which it will not recover), but more important, it has lots billions in lost opportunities.....
"Up the Irons!"
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:39 am

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 42):
It was only a matter of time with oil starting to move up that "the writing on the wall" was blatantly clear..To make matters worse, Airbus started to spend hundreds of millions in the A340E, etc.....



Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 42):
The loss in sales of the A345/A346 versus the B772F/LR/-300ER pales in comparison to the additional design costs..

Hundreds of millions on an update is considerably better than multiple billions on a blank page redesign for a market that had already taken significant orders for the competitor and would be unlikely to see another replacement cycle for a while. The 777 series could easily be adapted to fulfil the roles you mention in a shorter period of time than Airbus would have been able to bring the redesign to market in. Its not a great situation, but in my mind its the better of the two options - a redesigned twin A340 would be targetting a market that has already heavily bought into the 777.


This is also the reason the A350 is targetted in the way it is. Some on here deride Airbus for having no direct competition for the lower end of the 787 family, when its better for Airbus to target both the higher end (-9, -10 and 777) of Boeings family range precisely because of the great sales Boeing has enjoyed on the 787-8. Airbus can potentially kickstart a fleet renewal of the lower end of the 777 series before Boeing can bring the 777 replacement to market.

It may not be a great endgame, but in the light of the current situation its the best endgame there is at the moment - the -8 market is heavily saturated by the competitor because Boeing played the game better.

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 42):
more important, it has lots billions in lost opportunities.....

I will agree with that.
 
jacobin777
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:47 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 43):
but in the light of the current situation

Which they have no one to blame but themselves...

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 43):

Hundreds of millions on an update is considerably better than multiple billions on a blank page redesign for a market that had already taken significant orders for the competitor and would be unlikely to see another replacement cycle for a while. The 777 series could easily be adapted to fulfil the roles you mention in a shorter period of time than Airbus would have been able to bring the redesign to market in. Its not a great situation, but in my mind its the better of the two options - a redesigned twin A340 would be targetting a market that has already heavily bought into the 777.

777's were brisk from the word go....and besides a smaller period in the early 2000's, Airbus has had almost a decade of opportunity to provide a 777-200ER/777-300ER competitor..

Regardless...the A350 will be a good plane and should be able to get a few of the lower end B777-200/B777-200ER carriers..

However, if carriers go 10-across, then Airbus is in a bind..and by the time the A350 comes out...the B777's will have 15-20 years in service and a possible new replacement cycle will come out..especially on the higher end.

It will be interesting to see what happens the next 5-7 years.. yes 
"Up the Irons!"
 
Alessandro
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:11 am

I doubt that we´ll see a big leap technical compared like the TU-104 to the Caravelle, surely the B787 and A350 are interesting designs yet to fly, but
nowhere near the 1950-1960ies developement curve.
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
sllevin
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:25 am

I think the analogy fails because Caravelle's real downfall was aerodynamic -- much like the Comet (from which the Caravelle's cockpit came!), a very conservative wing was chosen, which gave better low speed performance but high drag in cruise.

However, the air travel revolution had airports building like mad, and soon, short field performance simply wasn't a factor.

Without major reinvestment (essentially designing a whole new airplane) any modest Caravelle imporovements would have resulted in more sales, sure, but not a world-beater. Its analogue -- the DC-9 -- ran into the same "development wall" with the MD-90, where the advantages gained were negated by the costs of developing them, because again, it became hampered by the inherent limitations of the wing design.

Steve

[Edited 2006-12-21 21:26:29]
 
TeamAmerica
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:02 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 27):
Theres an entire decade between the conceptualisation of hte two aircraft.

Good point. To be consistent, we really shouldn't consider these aircraft in the same generation. Although they do compete, they are not contemporary designs in the sense of the A350 v. B787.

Quoting N328KF (Reply 28):
The Comet first flight was in 1949, and entered service in 1952. The 367 had its first flight in 1952, and the 707's first flight was in 1957

 white Conceded. I was thinking of the 707 first flight and wrote Dash 80. Boeing's 367-80 certainly benefitted from experience with the Comet, but the most significant features of the Dash-80 derive from the B-47 bomber program rather than from lessons learned from the Comet. Both programs came to maturity at nearly the same time, with the 707 competing against the Comet IV. Comet IV clearly did not benefit by following the 707, despite being longer in development.

Quoting EI321 (Reply 39):
I'll explain the A340 design history as it is often misunderstud on this site.

Thank you for a very informative post. thumbsup 

 point My interpretation of the cases posed is that advantages in competing designs derive largely from fundamental design decisions and step-changes in technology. Some very good examples have been posed, but none are convincing in demonstrating that a few years later to market is ever an advantage for comparable aircraft.
IMHO the best historical comparison of true contempories is the B707 v. DC-8. Douglas closely observed the 707 and improved upon it, yet ultimately did not prevail in the marketplace. Perhaps even more notable is Convair's late entry with the CV-880/990; with some certainty, being late to market doomed this design despite its innovations.

The biggest problem for the A350 is not distraction due to the A380; it's the fact that it is late to market. In this sense only is there any comparison to the Caravelle; attention was given to the wrong market segment. This is with the benefit of hindsight, as I don't think that was forseeable in 2000 as the A380 project was launched and Boeing was not hinting at a competitor to the A330. We may argue over whether Airbus should have seen the danger to the A340 posed by advancement of the B777...
Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
 
osiris30
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:21 am

Quoting Bbobbo (Reply 10):
1. EIS for the A350 will be 5 years after the 787. Will technology have changed that much in 5 years to give the A350 that much more of an advanced product?

I'm just going to say this then bow out of this thread, because... well I don't want to be in another flame war.

Time between EIS is not what is all that important. Time between major design is what is important. It's not like they are going to build the engines on technology available the day before EIS. The engines will likely be based on the 787 engines with *maybe* a year or two of dev effort *if* that.

Unless something major happens, odds are the tecnology will be comparable (with 1/2% worst cast) and easily offset by other aspects of the design.
I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Is The A350 A Modern Day Caravelle?

Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:33 am

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 48):
The engines will likely be based on the 787 engines with *maybe* a year or two of dev effort *if* that.

While I agree to a certain extent, consider this - try and name the last time a brand new engine model was built from scratch. RR Trents all share a common lineage with the RB211 series from 30 years ago, the GEnx shares lineage with the GE90 which itself is derived from a 1970s NASA project.

There are very few brand new engine designs, its all incremental improvements on proven designs - even the 787 engines.

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