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remcor
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:12 am

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 10):
1) CATIA 4 and CATIA 5 do their business in radically different ways. Engineers need time to retrain to move to 5 from 4.

Yeah this problem is pretty bad.

If there was a way to export CATIA 5 files to CATIA 4 (and vice versa) they they'd have already solved it. Unfortunately it seems that CATIA isn't supporting such exports.... so what do you do?

I've in fact faced similar problems with Inventor (a 3d solid-modeling program along the lines of CATIA, albiet much crappier) where version 8 wouldn't talk to version 9. In our case there was 3rd party software available to convert versions, however it was expensive and we opted to just start over fresh and buy everyone a copy of Solidworks (another 3d package). But that meant essentially starting your drawings over from scratch.


This is one of those problems where most of the engineers could probably see this coming a mile away but management wouldn't listen because of the costs of upgrading.
 
osiris30
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:14 am

Quoting Remcor (Reply 50):
however it was expensive and we opted to just start over

There you go.. that's exactly what I mean about the decisions rammed down the throats of IT.. It's too expensive to be productive.. we don't get this whole 'software' thing, so it's too expensive... god I hate upper management sometimes...  hissyfit 
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deltadc9
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:19 am

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 51):
There you go.. that's exactly what I mean about the decisions rammed down the throats of IT.. It's too expensive to be productive.. we don't get this whole 'software' thing, so it's too expensive... god I hate upper management sometimes...

The problem they face is that there is less than a 25% chance that a software project will be on time, on budget, and meet requirements.

This is not what most IT people want to hear.
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
Shenzhen
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:20 am

Quoting Remcor (Reply 50):
I've in fact faced similar problems with Inventor (a 3d solid-modeling program along the lines of CATIA, albiet much crappier) where version 8 wouldn't talk to version 9. In our case there was 3rd party software available to convert versions, however it was expensive and we opted to just start over fresh and buy everyone a copy of Solidworks (another 3d package). But that meant essentially starting your drawings over from scratch.

They always say it is easier the second time around  Smile Just hope you are paid by the hour, not by the project.

Cheers
 
hb88
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:22 am

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 49):
1) Australia's ALR 2002 system is now over 3 billion over budget and still ongoing but looks to fail.
2) The FAA went 3 billion over budget on the AAS project
3) The IRS had an 8 billion dollar project failure recently
4) The Denver Airport 3.45 billion dollar software failure led to losses of 1.1 million per DAY on top of the 250 million in development. It cost the City of Denver 1.1 billion alone
5) The UK Biometric card project looks to be a failure at 10.7 billion (US)
6) EDS had an 8.8 billion dollar failure for the US Navy
7) How much is 50 billion Yen? Thats what the Japanese government lost on the FGCS project

There are 80 Billion dollars in failed IT projects just in the US every year.

Who can forget the £30bn (that's pounds stirling folks) IT goat rodeo that is the UK National Health Service patient booking system.
 
osiris30
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:23 am

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 52):
The problem they face is that there is less than a 25% chance that a software project will be on time, on budget, and meet requirements.

This is not what most IT people want to hear.

Generally I agree with you, but I pride myself on running MUCH higher than 25%.. An honest assessment of my groups is around 80%. Sometimes things happen you just did not count on. But then again I don't do things in the traditional way. I've heard the horror stories from both ends don't worry. But when the software platform in particular is key to your business ops (as it was in this case) it's a bit harder to excuse what happened.
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Dougloid
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:52 am

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 36):
Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 35):
A mockup is a facsimile of an aircraft, almost entirely non-functional and generally created as a sales tool to allow customers to walk through. This is still done.

I think you have caught one type of mockup, but left out the one that was used to ensure fit and function.

Cheers

Douglas' development fixtures were full scale fuselages, usually made up of unairworthy parts and they were used to check fit and function as well as to develop parts like insulation blankets, plumbing runs and the like. The C17 DF was completely new stuff, and it was destroyed a number of years ago, having served its purpose.
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deltadc9
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:55 am

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 55):
Generally I agree with you, but I pride myself on running MUCH higher than 25%..

BTW that's 25% failure, 50% over budget and/or past deadline but still deployed, and 25% total success. There are many studies that back this up.

Here where I work it is 95% for PMO lead projects 71% for projects left to the various divisions, not to brag or anything, but we do lead the industry in BPO. Ironically we just had a meeting where they announced that figure. The 5% was an MASSIVE failure though that led to huge losses.

80% is an incredible figure that you should be very proud of, dont get me wrong. The industry average is very dismal though.

BTW, Boeing has an very respectable record in software development and integration that is a model for the Fortune 500. Hard not to rub it in Airbus fans.....
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
osiris30
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:07 am

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 57):
Here where I work it is 95% for PMO lead projects 71% for projects left to the various divisions, not to brag or anything, but we do lead the industry in BPO. Ironically we just had a meeting where they announced that figure. The 5% was an MASSIVE failure though that led to huge losses.

Sounds like you have an environment that supports success. That's a BIG help. I'm assuming you are with Delta given the name?

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 57):
80% is an incredible figure that you should be very proud of, dont get me wrong. The industry average is very dismal though.

I'm exceptionally proud of that fact, because normally I volunteer for the worst projects (the ones most screwed up, poorly defined, etc.)... or am volunteered for said projects LOL. My current employer gave me a project that had an inital 12 months time frame, 5 months into the time alotment (with NOTHING having been done but BS meetings that didn't even produce a spec document!). We're done (just paperwork for the release process left) two months early and we pulled in all the "version 2" and "version 3" features. But I'm fortunate that I have a very high quality, inbuilt noise filter. I'm adding it to my list of successes  Smile (oh and we're under budget by 12.3%  Smile )

I would love a crack at Airbus's issues if it weren't for the politics. I love the 'impossible'.

The one thing I've found is a good deal of whether or not you'll succeed comes down to attitude. If you are determined not to fail you won't (well 8 times out of 10 anyway LOL)
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airfrnt
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:14 am

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 49):
4) The Denver Airport 3.45 billion dollar software failure led to losses of 1.1 million per DAY on top of the 250 million in development. It cost the City of Denver 1.1 billion alone

This was actually both software and hardware issues. But it is now being used as the classic example of commitment escalation. (Throwing bad money after good and never understanding that it will never work)
 
TeamAmerica
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:34 am

 alert  Error. The thread you are reading has strayed off topic. Please exit and try again.

The A380 debacle was not caused by defective software. It was caused by misuse of software. There is a difference. I blame project management, not IT.

And if y'all don't want Sarah Jessica Parker, I'll take her.  Smile
Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
 
osiris30
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:48 am

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 60):
The A380 debacle was not caused by defective software. It was caused by misuse of software. There is a difference. I blame project management, not IT.

Actually from what I've read it's both LOL.. Two versions was problem one. Problem two was the inhouse software that was supposed to put them together isn't finished yet. Again this is from the outside so it's hard to say.
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TeamAmerica
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:55 am

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 61):
Problem two was the inhouse software that was supposed to put them together isn't finished yet.

I suppose if the in-house IT team led management to believe this was a good, workable idea, then they share some blame.
Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
 
osiris30
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:56 am

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 62):
I suppose if the in-house IT team led management to believe this was a good, workable idea, then they share some blame.

If they weren't forced into it by a management decision that said "Are you nuts, we're not upgrading that many seats!", then yes you're right. But based on my experience, I wouldn't be surprised if they were told pretty much that (but in French or German LOL )
I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
 
nautilusgr
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:06 am

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 39):
Not true. 25% of all software projects fail completely. Integration projects included.

No doubt about it, but the A380 is not a "software project". It is a sightly larger project that involves lots of engineering years, evolution of technology, new design in every aspect, new levels of airplane dimensioning, research, development, economics and politics. Somewhere among them, is also a "software project". It is also a matter of pride for Airbus. Failure is not an option, and even though many wish that it will fail, I don't believe that it will.
 
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:34 am

Quoting Nautilusgr (Reply 64):
No doubt about it, but the A380 is not a "software project".

Yes, but would you like to try designing and manufacturing the A380 without software? You wouldn't get very far.
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nautilusgr
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:42 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 65):
You wouldn't get very far.

True. And sometimes, the biggest projects experience delays or finally fail due to small unforeseen details.

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 62):
I suppose if the in-house IT team led management to believe this was a good, workable idea, then they share some blame.

Most of times the best way to achieve the initial target is to try to solve or bypass the problems with the tools and personnel you already have, than to seek for new people or better software tools and start over. The question is what is the best management strategy when you face such problems, and what strategy did Airbus choose.
 
TeamAmerica
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:44 am

Quoting Nautilusgr (Reply 64):
Failure is not an option, and even though many wish that it will fail, I don't believe that it will.

Failure is not an option; it's a result.  Wink
Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
 
brendows
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:07 am

I know this is a bit OT, but I'll post it anyway  duck 

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 52):
The problem they face is that there is less than a 25% chance that a software project will be on time, on budget, and meet requirements.

This is not what most IT people want to hear.

No, they do not want to hear about it, but this is something every IT project manager and software developer have realized, or should have realized, a long time ago. This was one of the first few things a learned, and it has been repeated time and time again, together with examples of why this happens, and it's mostly not caused by those who are doing the software development.
 
wjcandee
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:13 am

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 49):
How much is 50 billion Yen?

About $425 million US.
 
andessmf
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:20 am

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 60):
The A380 debacle was not caused by defective software. It was caused by misuse of software. There is a difference. I blame project management, not IT.

Agreed, the software has to be ready to go prior to the project starting. If the software is revised mid-project, just upgrading and training the personnel is a massive undertaking.

The assumption that the software would help coordinate the design of the A380 (as it is actually meant to do) could be another fault under certain circumstances. Say that this is the actual case. The software helps build the aircraft into a coherent 3D model. All suppliers hook to the system to have real-time coordination of their parts. If this is not done well, mis-coordination of parts will occur, and you might not even be completely aware of this, since the computer system was supposed to take care of this.

Being both in construction and IT for my company, I can sympathize and understand what occurred. And believe me, you dont want to do changes to something that is already built unless you have to. When you are not building something from scratch, the coordination required to make a part fit is a nightmare.
 
texfly101
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:44 am

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 10):
And before anyone suggests that the engineers who did their work in v5 can redo the wiring while the other engineers who did their work v4 can work on the 350, see point #1. There would be no point at all in doing the 350 in v4 or you get bitten by #2,3.

Most certainly so. As has been pointed out, V4 and V5 are different animals. This debacle has shown the need for a coordinated design tool to be used by all concerned. Trying to fix V4 to talk to V5 or vice versa only asks for the typical bugs. Since the A350 will be CAAD designed, it will have to wait until they get the mess straightened out. No matter what the costs or how long it takes, it will be done. As John Mitchell said when asked why he plead guilty, "When you have to eat a s**t sandwich, you don't nibble"
While this is disastrous for sure, the absolute last thing that can be allowed to happen is to try and band aid this problem only to have it bite you again. The schedule objective now is concerned primarily to completely fix the problem. Delivering the airplane can only happen after the fix has been determined, implemented, tested and proven.

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 35):
An iron bird is a fixture where aircraft systems are assembled in a generally accurate arrangement to verify and refine function. Not done for A380, and I believe not being done for B787 either (I could be wrong).

Yes, there is one
 
TeamAmerica
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:58 am

Quoting Texfly101 (Reply 71):
Yes, there is one

Thanks, I realized that I was mistaken about that, but can't find a solid source as to exactly what the A380 and B787 iron birds include. I suspect that both are hydraulics test rigs rather than full-up birds including the entire electrical harness.

If anybody has some good links on these iron birds I would be very interested.  hyper 
Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
 
leelaw
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:13 am

...Software used to manage the design and manufacture of the 555-seat A380 at Airbus' Hamburg engineering center isn't fully compatible with that used at company headquarters in Toulouse, France, say current and former Airbus executives, including Charles Champion, who headed the A380 program until September...

"...Attempts to have common tools failed for various reasons," Champion says. "It's all about legacy: When you start to use a tool, changing tools is an enormous investment."

The decision would have been easier if any of the software was obsolete, but each partner considered its piece of the puzzle to be working well, Champion says. He spoke at the Farnborough International Airshow in July, before Streiff demoted him on Sept. 4...


http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/287165_airbussoftware02.html
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aviateur
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:18 am

oops, wrong thread. Deleted message.

[Edited 2006-10-03 02:19:37]
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
 
aeronut
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:25 am

I wonder how they made planes in the past without CATIA?

I have worked on programs that had manual drawings, CADAM, and CATIA V4 all at once. At the same time the wire groups had their own packages for Wire Harness Design. Yeah, its a pain in the butt, but it can be done and effectively. Integration plain and simple. We always mitigated the risk by doing mockups, because despite what your CATIA salesman says, wiring can not be accurately modelled.

My experience has been that software tools (CATIA) which offer complete integrated design solutions are never mature enough to be operated on the scale of the design of a complete aircraft. Usually by the time it is working properly, the program is over and on the next one there is something newer and better to upgrade to on the next program. V4, V5, its all basically the same stuff, just different enough so the software and hardware manufacturers have stuff to sell. I think development cycle times have increased as a result of CATIA. No one talks to each other anymore. They just put stuff in a Database and expect everyone to look in there and find stuff.

Takes a couple of months for a V4'er to switch to V5'er, and about 6 months to be fully profficient.
 
dvautier
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:30 am

I have to wonder if this is the first completely digital plane Airbus has done. Perhaps it may explain all the bad management. The other planes in its stable share a common flight deck so the wiring just has to be similar. I have not been able to look at the wire diagrams so I don't know.

Boeing did their first all digital plane, the 777, but we started very slowly with the CATIA software in 1984 and did a number of pilot projects, like the engines on the 737-400 before ever attempting full scale production, and then ever so slowly. We learned a lot of things about digital design specifically using the French product CATIA. I must have written volumes on the subject. Some important things I can actually still remember:

1) The wiring features in CATIA were poor at best and Dassault had no plans to spend a lot of money on specialized wiring software for just one user (Boeing). Wires are difficult to program and design in 3D because they are essentially a 2D entity developed for a 3D environment. You go from 3D to 2D for manufacturing, and then back to 3D. It's not easy to conceptualize or even program and it’s way different from CATIA tubing, which did work well.

2) Hard parts tend to work well in CATIA. Any version of CATIA can handle hard parts. Inches are inches and MMs are MMs and any hard part designed in one version of CATIA will fit into parts and assemblies designed in another version of CATIA as long as standard geometry is used. The trouble is engineers get cute and used weird formulas for their wireframe definitions. But this is all a matter of the guidelines that management must set up, and often management does not know the difference between a wireframe and second base. Unrestricted use of any CAD system can result in bad data.

3) Configuration control is extremely important, especially with imaginative and resourceful engineers, much more so than with manual drawings where a dimension is a dimension and a line is a line and a fillet is a fillet. Engineers love to copy stuff and get release CATIA models (drawings) confused with non-released drawings. Engineers also love to use weird formulas to define their surfaces. So beware of the inspired engineer.

It became obvious to us at Boeing around 1986 that we could not accomplish the wiring on CATIA with the existing software, nor was there any prospect in the near or distant future that Dassault was willing or able to invest in such specialized software. So we used our old WIRS system on the 777 with satisfactory results. We became very good at “workarounds”.

Since my strong interest at the time was in 3D wiring, I got heavily involved in a project called ASGR in 1985 that attempted to do just that: 3D wiring. The project was moderately successful but pointed out many problems inherent in this application (isolation, drip loops, current, voltage, etc.). It was a horrible nightmare. I strongly suggested afterwards to the company that the specialized wiring required in airplane design was not available in CATIA or anywhere else, and should not be considered for future CAD design.

Digital use of CATIA for hard parts on the 777 was quite successful but way over budget, and, thankfully, we never attempted to do 3D wiring on CATIA.

I don’t think that Airbus made any serious mistake using different versions of software for hard parts. That is merely an excuse but it does make good news reporting since people can understand it. But the underlying cause of Airbus troubles is that they did not understand the nature of 3D wiring. Their big mistake was to assume that CATIA could do wiring. Dassault did not have the resources nor the will to do it 30 years ago and I don’t think they have it today.
 
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remcor
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:33 am

It seems that it just comes down to poor poor management. If they weren't willing to upgrade their entire engineering team to V5, then why did they do it half-assed? Why did they spend the money to upgrade Toulouse to V5? Even if V5 had been released by the time the Toulouse positions were filled, the logical thing would have been to purchase CATIA 4 instead of 5 for cross-compatability, and get some upgrade incentives thrown in.
 
osiris30
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:49 am

Quoting Dvautier (Reply 76):
I don’t think that Airbus made any serious mistake using different versions of software for hard parts. That is merely an excuse but it does make good news reporting since people can understand it. But the underlying cause of Airbus troubles is that they did not understand the nature of 3D wiring. Their big mistake was to assume that CATIA could do wiring. Dassault did not have the resources nor the will to do it 30 years ago and I don’t think they have it today.

Dvautier: Thanks for weighing in with your experience (really).. that was a brilliant post.
I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
 
redflyer
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:01 am

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 78):
Dvautier: Thanks for weighing in with your experience (really).. that was a brilliant post.

And a damn good one for a very first post! Welcome to A.net Dvautier!
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TeamAmerica
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:02 am

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 78):
Dvautier: Thanks for weighing in with your experience (really).. that was a brilliant post.

Big ditto! Excellent, informative post, Dvautier. Welcome to A.Net!  bigthumbsup 
Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
 
billreid
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:14 am

Has A considered calling B for help. The 777 was a project that came together very well. Perhaps it is time to bite the bullet.
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787engineer
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:31 am

Welcome to A.net, Dvautier, and thanks for the informative post.

Quoting Dvautier (Reply 76):
Any version of CATIA can handle hard parts. Inches are inches and MMs are MMs and any hard part designed in one version of CATIA will fit into parts and assemblies designed in another version of CATIA as long as standard geometry is used.

Sure, the solid may be able to be translated over from CATIA v4 to v5, but what about the formulas/knowledgeware that's built into the design? You may get the proper shape, but more often than not you'd lose the link to what's driving that shape. There's also issues with axes systems. . .

Quoting Dvautier (Reply 76):
Engineers also love to use weird formulas to define their surfaces. So beware of the inspired engineer.

Hey, hey weird formulas are fun  Wink. Sometimes there's no better way to define a "unique" surface  Wink.

Quoting Dvautier (Reply 76):
I don’t think that Airbus made any serious mistake using different versions of software for hard parts. That is merely an excuse but it does make good news reporting since people can understand it. But the underlying cause of Airbus troubles is that they did not understand the nature of 3D wiring. Their big mistake was to assume that CATIA could do wiring. Dassault did not have the resources nor the will to do it 30 years ago and I don’t think they have it today.

Well, the 787 IS using CATIA v5 to do a lot of the wiring. . . I wonder if that's a bad sign. Also, Labinal is doing quite a bit of the wiring on both the 787 and A380. . . Hmmmm  scratchchin 

Quoting Aeronut (Reply 75):

Takes a couple of months for a V4'er to switch to V5'er, and about 6 months to be fully profficient.

Yes, but can you maintain configuration control with both v4 and v5 parts floating around the ENOVIA database? Especially when one starts propogating changes. . .I guess we'll find out with the A380 and if not the 747-8 (and a little bit of the 787) will take a crack at it.
 
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N328KF
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:35 am

Quoting BillReid (Reply 81):
Has A considered calling B for help. The 777 was a project that came together very well. Perhaps it is time to bite the bullet.

Perhaps Airbus should license and assemble the 787 as the A370.  Wink

Quoting 787engineer (Reply 82):
Well, the 787 IS using CATIA v5 to do a lot of the wiring. . . I wonder if that's a bad sign. Also, Labinal is doing quite a bit of the wiring on both the 787 and A380. . . Hmmmm

If Boeing is using CATIA 5 for 100% of the work, then what's the issue? Sounds like the Airbus issue is CATIA 4 <-> CATIA 5 interoperability.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
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787engineer
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 12:30 pm

Quoting N328KF (Reply 83):

If Boeing is using CATIA 5 for 100% of the work, then what's the issue? Sounds like the Airbus issue is CATIA 4 <-> CATIA 5 interoperability.

Actually there are a some parts being designed in v4 for the 787 and then moved over to v5 for integration, although its use is fairly limited and is in an area where there isn't much "innovation". Maybe the lessons learend there will help on the 747-8. . .
 
airfrnt
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 12:30 pm

Quoting Dvautier (Reply 76):

Thanks for a fantastically informative post. Welcome to my Respected Users list.
 
deltajet757
Posts: 228
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 2:58 pm

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
The situation worsened when construction and tests of the first A380s generated demands for structural changes that would affect the wiring.



Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
``What happened, apparently, is that there were several different design versions in use simultaneously,'' says Tecop's Weber, who says he was informed of the difficulties by contacts within Airbus's German design bureau. ``That was disastrous.''

Now it all fits together! It all makes sense!

See, it was when they all had different versions going at the same time that made them screw up with the wiring. Their big mistake was when they had several different versions going at once and then started constructing A/C which revealed the problems. I was right all along, they didn't check over what they were doing to catch glitches and rushed into production. AIRBUS SCREWED UP WITH THE DESIGN PROCESS!!!!

-DeltaJet757
FLY DELTA JETS
 
UKCO
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:27 pm

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 39):
Not true, there is no such thing as bug free or design flaw free complex software, never will be. It is a scientific and statistical impossibility. Even critical heath care device embedded software has bugs and design flaws.

Not true at all. You can adopt formal methods to scientifically prove software is fault free. Automation will scale it to complex systems. Never is a pretty ridiculous quantifier given the fact that software is around half a decade old.
 
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:20 pm

Quoting DeltaJet757 (Reply 86):
AIRBUS SCREWED UP WITH THE DESIGN PROCESS!!!!

I agree. With perfect hindsight, it seems like Airbus did re-plan when they found that their V4<->V5 software did not work. They didn't seem to understand the amount of manpower needed to do this work manually, especially once change requests came in from both the customers and from the results of the early flight tests. I would love to know exactly how this happened, but I bet I never will. It would make interesting reading.

Quoting Dvautier (Reply 76):
I must have written volumes on the subject.

Hey, that's punny!  Smile
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The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
PRAirbus
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:33 pm

The A380 will take-off sooner or later but this mess might help Boeing get some 747-8 orders for pax planes...so far I guess it is the 747-8 pax version the one who might never take-off.
 
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:47 pm

Quoting PRAirbus (Reply 89):
The A380 will take-off sooner or later but this mess might help Boeing get some 747-8 orders for pax planes...so far I guess it is the 747-8 pax version the one who might never take-off.

Let's try to stay on topic, which is the A380's software issues, not the lack of 747-8 sales.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
wjcandee
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:19 pm

Well, 1985 was a time when a 286 chip was a big deal, and tens of megabytes of DISK storage was a big deal on a PC. I guess that aircraft-design software is a specialized-enough field that it doesn't improve as rapidly as everything else in the software business, but it's intriguing that Dassault hasn't in 20 years been able to produce something that can model wiring, or at least that this failure wasn't more widely-known in the industry. Also, I'm curious how Boeing is handling wires in V5 on the 787 if the software is so incapable, which I fully believe that it is.
 
cricket
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:25 pm

They should have done what Boeing did with the 787, outsourced it to India.  Wink
Well, at least EADS will do that from now on - they'll 300 IT engineers in an engineering centre here by the middle of 2007!
been there, flown that
 
Rheinbote
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:49 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 88):
I agree. With perfect hindsight, it seems like Airbus did re-plan when they found that their V4<->V5 software did not work. They didn't seem to understand the amount of manpower needed to do this work manually, especially once change requests came in from both the customers and from the results of the early flight tests. I would love to know exactly how this happened, but I bet I never will.

Well, you just need to hire with McKinsey. Given your backgorund, chances are that you're deployed to help analyze and sort out the IT part of the mess at Airbus.
 
UKCO
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:58 pm

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 91):
I guess that aircraft-design software is a specialized-enough field that it doesn't improve as rapidly as everything else in the software business

It's not that specialised as it falls under some of the more generic categories of critical software (including testing and formal method methodologies), and user interface design. Progress is not as rapid as chip design for instance, but still advancing rapidy.
 
jush
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:04 pm

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):

I reckon you theory could be spot on.
Greatly put together.

Regds
jush
There is one problem with airbus. Though their products are engineering marvels they lack passion, completely.
 
dvautier
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:53 pm

Boeing is not using CATIA directly for wiring definition on the 787. Information from CATIA models is fed to their legacy WIRS system to help define wires and wire bundles but all release information and control is done in the WIRS system.

Incidentally I wanted to point out that this old WIRS legacy system has been in place since 1942. It was originally on IBM cards and processed with unit record equipment, later moved to 7090 computers, then to IBM 360s. It has been rehosted to IMS and DB2 but still seems to operate well and continues to do its job as originally defined.

There is an old saying at Boeing that WIRS is the third rail--touch it and you die. When the company spend a pile of money to convert their hard parts to DCAC in 1995, nobody touched WIRS
 
sphealey
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:01 am

> I guess that aircraft-design software is a
> specialized-enough field that it doesn't
> improve as rapidly as everything else in
> the software business,

The general-purpose software industry has been _changing_ very rapidly since 1990, but whether or not it has been _improving_ is very much an open question to those of us who used 1970s-1980s era software and tools.

sPh
 
deltadc9
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:49 am

Quoting UKCO (Reply 87):
Not true at all. You can adopt formal methods to scientifically prove software is fault free. Automation will scale it to complex systems. Never is a pretty ridiculous quantifier given the fact that software is around half a decade old.

1) Defect free software is not possible because perfect requirements and the perfect interpretation thereof is not possible. Also the development tools, databases, related hardware, and everthihng else can never be perfect.

2) Software has been around far longer than 50 years, but perfect software has yet to be conceived.

3) Even if you were able to detect 100% of the unmasked defects, the masked defects are by definition undetectable.

I am the Software Quality Analyst for a 5 billion dollar corporation, and I am here to tell you defect free software is not possible. The Carnegie Melon, IEEE and ISO 9000 people will gladly back me up on that.

Quoting Brendows (Reply 68):
and it's mostly not caused by those who are doing the software development.

True, analyst and programmers just do their best to translate requirements into a deliverable, neither of which can ever be perfect.

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 58):
I'm assuming you are with Delta given the name?

Sort of. The name reflects the fact that I grew up flying on a Delta DC9 between Chicago and Evansville being shuttled between parents.

Ironically, I now work for the primary BPO and ITO outsourcing company providing services to Delta and a dozen other big airlines. We also are the people behind Orbitz, Priceline, and Cheaptickets, and process 90 percent of all health care claims in the US among other things like EZPass and all those stoplight cameras.

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 60):
There is a difference. I blame project management, not IT.

IT is rarely the root cause of project failures, it is usually sales, project management, and requirements analysis that goes wrong.

As Dr Deming said, its not the people that fail its the system they work in that fails.

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 59):
(Throwing bad money after good and never understanding that it will never work)

Its like no one ever read "The Mythical Man Month"
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
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RE: A380 Debacle: It's The Software, Stupid!

Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:01 am

Quoting Dvautier (Reply 96):
Incidentally I wanted to point out that this old WIRS legacy system has been in place since 1942. It was originally on IBM cards and processed with unit record equipment, later moved to 7090 computers, then to IBM 360s. It has been rehosted to IMS and DB2 but still seems to operate well and continues to do its job as originally defined.

It's amazing that Boeing saw the need to automate this as far back as 1942 and has been able to keep the same basic system running for 60+ years. I wonder what programming language it's written in. I presume it's good old 370 BAL (Basic Assembler Language) but maybe it was updated during one of the transitions. Or maybe it's being run under a 7090 emulator!

Quoting Dvautier (Reply 96):
There is an old saying at Boeing that WIRS is the third rail--touch it and you die.

LOL!
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own

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