mxaxai wrote:kitplane01 wrote:I was hoping you'd answer the question directly. To be clear, you think losing all that many billion $$$ into the A380 was a more wise move than the better/earlier A350 proposal above?
Yes. An A350 Mk. 0 in place of the A380 would have been even more outmatched by the 787-9 & 77W than the A380 was. The A350 Mk. 1 didn't turn out the way it did because Airbus lacked resources, but because their technology didn't permit something like today's A350 at the time. And Airbus would not have had the guts to replace a failed program this soon with a new one for a similar market. The A380 can be dropped without a huge impact on Airbus' portfolio.
The A380 pioneered lots of CFRP manufacturing technologies, yet only uses them for ~20 % of its mass. GLARE, which is used extensively on the A380 and was proposed for the A350 Mk. 1, is expensive. There is no way Airbus could have brought a 10 abreast jet to the market between 2005 and 2009 that contained >50 % CFRP without prohibitively high manufacturing costs. (First flights of A380 and 787, respectively)
Counter question: Do you think Airbus would be better off today if they had skipped the A380 entirely, and delivered today's A350 perhaps a year or two earlier?
You have the premise that Airbus could not have made a CFRP widebody at the right time frame. But I don't think that's true. I think if Airbus had invested an amount similar to the Boeing 787 investment, that could have made an A350 with CFPR. I don't think Boeing waited for the technology to arrive, I think they invented the technology, and Airbus could have done that.
If your premise is correct, then the winning Airbus move is to NOT build the A380, wait for the technology, and then build the A350. It would have arrived at about the same time as the 787, and sold more while taking more 787 sales.
But I'm not sure your premise is right.
Another author posted on this subject. i don't know if he's right, but if so imagine Airbus had these patents instead of Boeing.
bikerthai wrote:The question was raised if Airbus did not fabricated the A380, and fabricated the A350 instead, then what would they have achieved?
An A350 with GLARE and not CFRP.
Note that the current 787 and A350 are only possible with the development of fiber placement machines. At the time, these machines were only in the development stages as the industry start gearing up for the Sonic Cruiser or 7J7 which latter became the 787. Much of the fiber placement development technology was being developed by Boeing and machines were few. I believe that the A350 was created in section instead of a barrel not only because they did not have the infrastructure (big enough autoclave - which can be solved) but because Boeing own many of the patents (which can not be resolved).