crownvic
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A330 Various Tail Heights

Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:19 am

Back in June of 2008, there was a post discussing the issue of the various tail heights of the A330's. At the time, there was very little information available. Since then, I was wondering if anyone can direct me to a RELIABLE source, for solving what appears to be an endless problem on this subject in order to find the exact tail dimensions of the various models. Here is what I have been able to discover on my own:

1) A330-200: Early production version had a taller tail. Later production models use the A340-500/600 wider rudder and slightly shorter tail

2) A330-300X uses a slightly wider rudder and larger base fairing than the standard A330-300

3) A340-300X uses a slightly wider rudder and larger base fairing than the standard A340-300

My conclusion is, there are six different tails between the 5 models mentioned (A330-200, A330-300, A330-300X, A340-300 & A340-300X) while the A340-500/600 share the same tail as late model A330-200's.
 
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kanban
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RE: A330 Various Tail Heights

Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:57 am

Boy a mixed fleet would have a ton of money tied up in spares...

I can not imagine what Airbus was thinking if this is true...
 
je89_w
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RE: A330 Various Tail Heights

Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:12 am

Quoting crownvic (Thread starter):
1) A330-200: Early production version had a taller tail. Later production models use the A340-500/600 wider rudder and slightly shorter tail

Yes, the new A332 tail was introduced on L/N 555, an EVA Air A332, B-16303. A332s produced after L/N 555 came with the new tail, with the exceptions of F-GSEU, F-GZCM, F-GZCN, F-GCZO, and the ill-fated (and quite curious) F-GZCP. Can anyone shed any light as to why these five French-registered A332s came with the old tail after the modification?

For anyone who's interested, here's a good visual comparison between the old tail (left) and new tail:

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Photo © Goran Matovina
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Photo © M Radzi Desa


The old tail design is clearly taller and narrower at the top.

Quoting crownvic (Thread starter):
A340-500/600 share the same tail as late model A330-200's.

I wouldn't say they share the same tail, but the shape is indeed similar.
 
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Francoflier
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RE: A330 Various Tail Heights

Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:40 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 1):
Boy a mixed fleet would have a ton of money tied up in spares...

Your post might be sarcastic, but in doubt:
Rudder assemblies don't get changed every now and then on airliners, in fact, they never get changed. Airlines don't keep rudders in stock. There are different variations of its shape and form, but the components and fasteners inside that do get serviced are probably all the same and interchangeable.

Quoting kanban (Reply 1):
I can not imagine what Airbus was thinking if this is true...

Virtually all aircrafts mature during the course of their production. They all get minor tweaks here and there with time which do or do not affect part commonality with older models. In any case, manufacturers make sure that they do not represent a major inconvenience to users of previous models.

Quoting je89_w (Reply 2):
Can anyone shed any light as to why these five French-registered A332s came with the old tail after the modification?

I'm guessing here, but maybe Airbus had a few rudder assemblies of the old design which they thought could be used for later aircrafts of an operator who already had aircrafts with these older tails?
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
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kanban
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RE: A330 Various Tail Heights

Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:52 pm

Quoting francoflier (Reply 3):
Rudder assemblies don't get changed every now and then on airliners, in fact, they never get changed. Airlines don't keep rudders in stock. There are different variations of its shape and form, but the components and fasteners inside that do get serviced are probably all the same and interchangeable.



on the contrary, Rudders are spare-able and replaced, not frequently but they do get damaged. Now with larger capacity freight operations, delivery of one is not as complicated as it was when the 747 was launched... Boeing had spares located in at least three depots around the world. Several airlines also bought some as initial provisioning.

The reason for having spares of all types here would be that one can not swap rudders between all of the A330 and 340 aircraft if there is a need to replace a rudder. Plus I doubt Airbus has retained the capability to manufacture all the limited use sizes.

Further, I think if you looked at the illustrated parts catalogs for these aircraft you will find a lot more non interchangeable components from fairings to actuators..
 
B6JFKH81
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RE: A330 Various Tail Heights

Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:49 pm

Quoting francoflier (Reply 3):
Airlines don't keep rudders in stock.

My airline keeps spares, and have performed rudder swaps due to damages more than once. Don't quote me on this, but I think it's also in the RSPL.
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
 
crownvic
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RE: A330 Various Tail Heights

Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:22 am

So folks, we are in agreement in general on this, but nobody has answered my question as to a proper source to turn to, to get these dimensions. There has got to be somebody out there or something on-line that maps out these changes or dimensions. With the introduction of the A330-300X, it has added even more confusion to the tail tale!

je89_w...Referencing yuor response, please remember, I am only requiring an answer, from a dimensional persepctive, meaning not internally. The few sources that I have on the subject have said that the A340-500 & 600 use the same tail as the A330-200 late production type.
 
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Francoflier
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RE: A330 Various Tail Heights

Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:25 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 4):
not frequently but they do get damaged

Not frequently at all. At most, a rudder would be changed on an airliner once during its life on average, if that. Not the kind of spare which you would keep unless you had a massive fleet, and even in this case, the necessity to change one is so rare that commonality is not really an issue (well, as long as Airbus keeps enough spares of the discontinued rudders...).

Quoting kanban (Reply 4):
Further, I think if you looked at the illustrated parts catalogs for these aircraft you will find a lot more non interchangeable components from fairings to actuators..

Again, aircaft families evolve slightly during the course of production, and some parts do get changed. All operators of large fleets of whichever aircraft that have been delivered over a relatively large period of time have to deal with it one way or another. Manufacturers make sure it doesn't pose to much of a problem commonality-wise, often by making the new parts retrofit-able when they can or keeping stocks of old-design parts available for operators.

I am willing to bet that most of the innards of said vertical fins are pretty much the same and interchangeable even though the tail shape is different, leaving only the rudder as a non interchangeable component, which hardly gets swapped anyway.

I doubt this will lead A330/340 operators to 'have a ton of money tied up in spares'...
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
Klaus
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RE: A330 Various Tail Heights

Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:33 am

Quoting crownvic (Reply 6):
The few sources that I have on the subject have said that the A340-500 & 600 use the same tail as the A330-200 late production type.

Didn't the 345 and 346 use different tailfins anyway?
 
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kanban
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RE: A330 Various Tail Heights

Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:47 pm

Quoting francoflier (Reply 7):
(well, as long as Airbus keeps enough spares of the discontinued rudders...).


and that is still a ton of money tied up on a relatively slow moving part. where at an airline, or manufacturer the holding cost grows every year even if only one spare exists. (inventory management 101) and the cost of replacement should that one be used is huge.

it's just an observation
 
JRadier
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RE: A330 Various Tail Heights

Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:44 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 9):

and that is still a ton of money tied up on a relatively slow moving part. where at an airline, or manufacturer the holding cost grows every year even if only one spare exists. (inventory management 101) and the cost of replacement should that one be used is huge.

Part of inventory management 101 is that the size of the stock is linked to both the size of the fleet and the risk involved. Depending on fleet sizes, it might be that for the entire A330 fleet you need two (or another number, but let's keep it easy) rudders on stock. Due to the size of the fleets (with the different rudders) you might need 1 for each. In that case the extra costs are fairly limited. Of course on these numbers changes are pretty radical, but if there are more spares, which is likely, the total inventory divided over the total fleet might not take an extreme hit.

That said, the new design must bring advantages, otherwise they wouldn't have introduced it. Let's say that if the extra spare rudders cost x per year, and the advantages gain 2x, it's pretty much a no-brainer. I've done stock analysis before and in certain cases it is worth it to invest in more stock, not less.
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kanban
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RE: A330 Various Tail Heights

Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:27 am

Quoting JRadier (Reply 10):
in certain cases it is worth it to invest in more stock,



part of my comment relates to the fallacy the once a part (rudder) is built and stored all the costs are accounted for.. however there are still costs in storage, insurance, facility maintenance, and update... When upgrades to a rudder in the fleet are done, spares stock should be updated as well or when it is used, the installing airline will have to add those changes to what might otherwise have been a 1 for 1 exchange.. this is especially true if there is an airworthiness directive .

I understand your comments having been involved in inventory management of the New York, Brussels, Singapore and main Boeing Spares store (depot) in Seattle. I was responsible for landing gear, tail feathers, hydraulics and landing gear doors for 707, 727, 737, 747.. and yes things have changed from those times.
 
crownvic
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RE: A330 Various Tail Heights

Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:27 am

Klaus...If that is the case, I am more confused than when I started this thread. My understanding is, the A345 & A346 use identical tail fins. If I am wrong, it is time for me to go back to the 707. I thought this aircraft had a confusing tail fin "story", but Airbus is proving me wrong!
 
C46
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RE: A330 Various Tail Heights

Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:36 am

Wonder how much rudder damage is/was caused by the aircraft being in the docks and someone switched on hyd without ensuring the rudder was clear from the stands   Sometimes it's faster to replace the entire assembly, repair the damaged ne and put that back in spares.
 
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kanban
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RE: A330 Various Tail Heights

Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:55 pm

Quoting C46 (Reply 13):
Sometimes it's faster to replace the entire assembly, repair the damaged ne and put that back in spares.



that's why Boeing at least leases some spares.. when a repair comes in it is repaired, zero timed, AD's and SB's incorporated and returned to the airline. and the leased unit is then returned to the pool store
 
tdscanuck
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RE: A330 Various Tail Heights

Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:00 am

Quoting C46 (Reply 13):
Sometimes it's faster to replace the entire assembly, repair the damaged ne and put that back in spares.

Several airlines with large fleets do this with winglets...just slap on a new one when one is damaged (typically lightning or ramp rash) and send the damaged one out for repair. That way your aircraft isn't sitting around while the repair is done. A winglet can be replaced on an overnight, repair takes a couple of days at least.

Tom.

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