gilesdavies
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Any Major Changes To The A320 Over The Years?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:58 am

With the A320 being about 19 years old since initially launched I was wondering if Airbus have made any major chages to the aircraft over the years to remain competitive.

I was just curious as Airbus still seems to gaining many new orders for the A320 and rest of the family even after all this time.

I appreciate the 737NG's is a newer aircraft, in some respects may be more advanced and may still be gaining the edge slightly over the A320 family with regards to orders. But how does it remain so competive...

I know there was the A320-100 where only a small number of aircrafts were produced and then the A320-200 was released with the wing tips.

Is it because Airbus have more bargaining power financially than Boeing or have they made changes to the aircraft over the years but none of which is really commone knowledge.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Any Major Changes To The A320 Over The Years?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 11:36 am

Quoting Gilesdavies (Thread starter):
I know there was the A320-100 where only a small number of aircrafts were produced and then the A320-200 was released with the wing tips.

That's the most visual change, but plenty have been made. The only one I can think of off-hand is the flight deck upgrade from CRTs to LCDs.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
kaddyuk
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RE: Any Major Changes To The A320 Over The Years?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 1:26 pm

Most are probably weight saving changes and those changes which increase reliability... most of which passengers dont see but make a difference to the operator
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320tech
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RE: Any Major Changes To The A320 Over The Years?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 3:34 pm

For those that use CFM-56 engines, the newer ones have CFM-56-5Bs instead of 5As, which gives greater thrust. The main difference is apparently one more set of compressor blades. Not sure when the change was made.
The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the manufacturer and impossible for the AME.
 
widebody
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RE: Any Major Changes To The A320 Over The Years?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:48 pm

The number of changes made over the years are too numerous to list, though I'm not sure what you would define as major.

In terms of bargaining power, Boeing have more because the 737 broke even many years before the A320. A rumoured price war is expected sometime this year, instigated by Boeing to disrupt Airbus cash flow.
 
A319XFW
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RE: Any Major Changes To The A320 Over The Years?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 8:27 pm

Another change from the A320-100 to the A320-200 is the addition of a centre fuel tank.
One of the more major changes is probably the A321 wing and wingbox. The centre wingbox is reinforced and the fuel system doesn't have an outer wingtank (making the system simpler). Also diferent flaps.
In the cabin you have now got CIDS which filtered down from the A340 (IIRC).

But like most have said, the improvements have been gradual and updates, tweaking etc.
 
gigneil
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RE: Any Major Changes To The A320 Over The Years?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:15 pm

There have been LOTS of manufacturing changes. The entire avionics suite and FBW system are new. The plane gained FBW rudder controls. The rear fuse is of a new design. They use friction stir welding in some areas, and laser welding in others, where previously there were rivets.

Many, many changes.
 
A319XFW
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RE: Any Major Changes To The A320 Over The Years?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:04 pm

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 6):
They use friction stir welding in some areas, and laser welding in others, where previously there were rivets.

That is just on the A318 so far though. But yes, manufacturing techniques have changed over the years. For instance the wing equipment installation is now done on a flowline. The same goes for the fuselage equipment installation.
 
HAL
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RE: Any Major Changes To The A320 Over The Years?

Sat Mar 04, 2006 5:21 pm

From our perspective in the cockpit, there isn't that much change. I didn't realize that Airbus was offering LCD screens as an option. We (AWA) have taken delivery of several new planes in the last few months, and all the cockpit screens are still CRT's.

The one nice change I've seen in the newer planes is the replacement of the old (hot) lightbulbs in the cockpit pushbuttons with cool LED's. Now you don't burn your fingertip when you push hard on a button.  Smile

Other than that though, I really can't see much difference from the old to the new ones.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
A319XFW
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RE: Any Major Changes To The A320 Over The Years?

Sat Mar 04, 2006 6:08 pm

Quoting HAL (Reply 8):
From our perspective in the cockpit, there isn't that much change. I didn't realize that Airbus was offering LCD screens as an option. We (AWA) have taken delivery of several new planes in the last few months, and all the cockpit screens are still CRT's.

That is most likely to be for common spares. For instance NW has still got some analogue instruments (clock etc?) in the cockpit, whereas digital ones are available. They just do that so they don't need to stock 2 different types of part for the same thing. The same goes for a few other things too. For instance one PTU now comes as standard, but airlines who have the other one can have that installed still.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Any Major Changes To The A320 Over The Years?

Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:20 pm

What about External changes.Apart from the Wing Fence.
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