Than there is the A320 plus or plus plus project, that is supposed to be shelved, but the words the journalists use, like shelved or put on hold, is note a quote but an interpretation of the words of the Airbus management. I would use delayed or other things like ramp up have a higher priority. I would be very astonished if Airbus has stopped looking and working at possible improvements to the A320 family, including stretching and new wings.
Interestingly enough, I also think shelved
is probably too strong a term for what is going on. I'd think that delayed, deferred or deprioritized are probably more accurate.
On the other hand we now have Schulz himself choosing to say “we are in a difficult situation today” which sounds pretty dire.
I think what we can take away from the lead article is:
“The ramp-up is not going as well as hoped,” a person with knowledge of the supply chain said. Another said Airbus had declared industrial matters top priority amid engine shortages, calling off plans to show the A320neo-plus design to airlines.
So, if nothing else, the milestone of showing A320+ to airlines is on hold.
The quote from the 2nd article:
Airbus’ management has come to the conclusion that “we need to deliver what we committed to first” before moving on to an A320neo family upgrade.
suggests to me at least that resources are being shifted away from A320+ and toward production of the current models.
Not trying to make this A vs B at all, but here on a.net we had a lot of people saying Boeing should have skipped the -9 and gone right for the -10. The main reason the -9 was kept was to be able to have something to sell to customers who wanted something bigger than -8 without making the production rate ramp up more difficult than it needs to be by adding the stretched fuselage to the mix. It'll be interesting to see if Boeing can manage the production rate increase and adding in the stretch at the same time.
Personally I would not be surprised if Team B does find the ramp up to be a bigger challenge than anticipated especially as -10 is added to the mix.
Correction: the main problem at the current production rate seems to be engines. Airbus wants higher production rates. Rates higher than they have ever produced before. Just because Airbus can build A320s smoothly at the current rate (we will ignore engines) doesn’t mean there are not challenges in increasing the rate that need engineering resources to solve. An increased production rate can introduce an entirely brand new rate limiting step.
Very good point. Presumably this applies to both A and B as both are heading toward uncharted territory.