WINGS
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Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:40 am

Playing catch-up: No room for delays of the Airbus A350.

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...for-delays-of-the-airbus-a350.html

After several false starts, Airbus knows there is no more margin for error or delay in the design of its mid-size A350 widebody

At Farnborough last year, Airbus wowed the industry with the revelation that it had ditched its "warmed-up A330 concept" to tackle the 787 and devised a far more impressive three-pronged attack with which to strike back at the Boeing widebody twinjet armoury in the form of the A350 Xtra Wide Body (XWB).

Eleven months on, the airframer is facing the challenge of turning that concept into a firm programme, with a solid specification and performance, a cohesive production plan incorporating international partners and a robust development timetable. Service entry of the baseline A350-900 is set for mid-2013, and with this being five years behind the 787, Airbus knows it cannot afford any further slips.






Flight International has provided us, with a very interesting article into the development of the A350XWB. I believe that it is worth the read.  Smile

Regards,
Wings
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:47 am

Good article that helps answer some questions.

And while the five year delay has benefited the A350 in terms of a design to benchmark against, the 787 herself will evolve over the five years the A350 takes to go from MG-5 to EIS.

[Edited 2007-06-11 20:47:58]
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:55 am

The new aft cabin shape will be a real improvement, the current design is a major weakness of the A330/340 family.


PH
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astuteman
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:05 am

Quoting WINGS (Thread starter):

Came home from work today to find my hard-copy FI (as usual) delivered.
I read this and thought "What a great Article - most post this".
Dang - you beat me to it  Smile

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
Good article that helps answer some questions.

It is indeed a very in-depth article - by far the most extensive thing I've seen written about the A350 (XWB) to date.
Recommended.
It raises lots of interesting questions/talking points too.
There's some great commentary on things like "maintenance" that should prompt some discussion.

Quote:-
Airbus is also confident it will offer significant maintenance cost savings. "On a per-seat basis, the 314-seat A350-900 will have 10% lower maintenance costs than the 280-seat 787-9," says Pardoe.
"We achieve this by extending the check intervals by reducing the number of tasks, while materials and systems technology and a reduction in the need for highly skilled people also play a part," he adds.
Airbus says the A350 will require a maintenance base visit only every 36 months, and a structural "visit" every 12 years. "It's a question of structuring the maintenance programme so the aeroplane can fly when the operators want it to," says Pardoe.
Airbus has made these marketing promises to existing and prospective customers


Regards
 
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:09 am

Having 10% more seats helps lower the per-seat cost by 10%, I imagine.  Smile

It will be interesting to see how Airbus reduces the maintenance schedule for the panels, which one would think would require more maintenance since it involves more parts and (one would think) fasteners...
 
Motorhussy
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:14 am

Interesting that they still depict the XWB as an 8 abreast craft when we all know that Airbus have committed to a proper 9 abreast configuration.

Good article, thanks WINGS.

Regards
MH
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clickhappy
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:14 am

Oh for goodness sake. Airbus have reached a new low! Comparing maintenance costs on a per seats basis?

I should hope a 314 seat airplane costs less than a 280 seat airplane, if we are using "per-seat basis" as the matrix. 314 seats is a little over 12% more than 280, so comparing apples to apples (airframe to airframe) the 787-9 is (using the supplied numbers) 2% cheaper.
 
TeamAmerica
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:17 am

I've been suggesting a possible reason for Airbus insisting on Aluminum frames, and here it is confirmed:

"Another advantage of the hybrid fuselage concept is that the metallic fuselage frames, floor beams and seat rails create what Airbus calls an "electrical network" enabling a carbonfibre fuselage to emulate the electrical continuity of an all-metal fuselage, says McConnell. "This is required in a carbonfibre fuselage to provide a neutral return path for electrical equipment.""
Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
 
astuteman
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:34 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 6):
the 787-9 is (using the supplied numbers) 2% cheaper.

So the 787-9, which is some 8%-9% smaller in cabin area than the A350XWB-900, and lighter, (with the attendant reduction in capacity) is 2% cheaper to maintain?

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 6):
Oh for goodness sake

Indeed!  Smile

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 7):
I've been suggesting a possible reason for Airbus insisting on Aluminum frames, and here it is confirmed:

It's easy to forget that these guys do this stuff for a living, I guess. There are things I would question about the design of the A350, but I can't for one moment believe I could ask a question the A350 design team couldn't answer (or 787 team, for that matter)

regards
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:44 am

Using a per-seat cost a smaller plane will always loose out to a bigger plane.

Do you mean to say that a 525 seat A380 is 380% cheaper to maintain than a 137 seat 737-700?

It is a useless figure.

And why is the Airbus answer always "bigger is better?" If such a thought were true Airbus wouldn't need a 318, 319, or 320. They would just sell the A321, their biggest narrowbody.
 
DAYflyer
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:48 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 6):
Oh for goodness sake. Airbus have reached a new low! Comparing maintenance costs on a per seats basis?

Oh don't be so silly. Leahy is just getting started now that he has a new paper airplane to talk about.  stirthepot 
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astuteman
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:58 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 9):
Using a per-seat cost a smaller plane will always loose out to a bigger plane.

That justifies a 9% bigger, 9% more capable, plane being ony 2% more expensive to maintain (according to the figures)?
If it was indeed, comparing an A380 sized plane to a 787-9, I would expect some economies of scale, but not on these small deltas.

There's surely more interesting debate to be had in relation to the article's contents than this...........

Regards
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:01 am

There's surely more interesting debate to be had in relation to the article's contents than this...........

That is a funny comment, seeing as you were the one who highlighted it!
 
AirSpare
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:19 am

Interesting, from the article, regarding the metal frame.

"This is required in a carbonfibre fuselage to provide a neutral return path for electrical equipment."

If current airliiners use this system already, is this news? And as discussed, the wing will be all CFRP, but still be bleed, it will be interesting to see how they keep it cool.

Ok, so how are ground buses currently employed? Are they going to run signal and power gounds together?

It's nice to see more information finally.
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EI321
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:41 am

The cabin shape is clearly superior, although im not sure why its shown in 8 abreast.

Quoting AirSpare (Reply 13):
"This is required in a carbonfibre fuselage to provide a neutral return path for electrical equipment."

If current airliiners use this system already, is this news?

But current airliners dont have carbon fuselages.

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 11):
There's surely more interesting debate to be had in relation to the article's contents than this...........

Its just nit picking.
 
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Asturias
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:13 am

Quoting WINGS (Thread starter):
Service entry of the baseline A350-900 is set for mid-2013, and with this being five years behind the 787, Airbus knows it cannot afford any further slips.

I don't get it. How far behind the 737 was the 320? Two decades or so?

The T7 a year or two behind the 330.

Clearly both the T7 and the 320 were just too late to the market, so they never caught on. If only they had been released closer to the competition. If only...

 no 

saludos

Asturias
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flight152
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:23 am

Quoting Asturias (Reply 15):
How far behind the 737 was the 320? Two decades or so?

Since when has the 737NG been two decades behind the A320?
 
EI321
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:25 am

Quoting Asturias (Reply 15):
Quoting WINGS (Thread starter):
Service entry of the baseline A350-900 is set for mid-2013, and with this being five years behind the 787, Airbus knows it cannot afford any further slips.

I don't get it. How far behind the 737 was the 320? Two decades or so?

Yes, although the 737 was not the only show in town back then. There was also the DC9, and less successful designs like the 111, Caravelle, etc, The A320 was also a considerable leap forward in terms of technology.

I think the more appropriate comparison to todays A350/787 is the A320/737NG.
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:43 am

Airbus certainly does have a theoretical advantage in that their competition is defined, and they know what they have to beat. The problem is that they do have to beat it and convince the customers that in fact they have. I am not sure, based on what I have seen, that they have done so. If the A350 is five years behind the 787 and does not offer real advantages, it will not do well. It will still sell, but Boeing will get the lion's share of the orders. As Astuteman has pointed out, it will still be far better than anything out there except the 787.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
jacobin777
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:11 am

Good article...rather than just speculation...it at least it gives some new information for us to discuss here...

...regardless of who is going to have the "better" plane, it looks like its shaping up to be a great plane..I for one can't wait to see it fly......

...competition breeds innovation...

 Smile
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aminobwana
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:15 am

The flight article is very interesting, but technical aspects excepted, after reading the firts part of it, IMHO itdoes only confirm the dangers and drawbacks of the A350 program. Quoting from the Flight article posted by Wings:

Quote:
Airbus will not freeze the A350's concept until the end of next year
..............
Despite the catalogue of strategic errors Airbus has made in the mid-size widebody

Quote:
sector

Please note, the CONCEPT, not only details or parts. Does this not mean that customers ordering before this date
are factually buyong the cat in the sack ?? Who can guarantee that a conceptual mistake as happened with the
original design appears durinh the next 1 1/2 years ?? As an example, it could happen that during the studies
before the concept is frozen it appear the the design must be finally changed to barrels (pls. do not discuss if this is probable or not, it is only an example). inducing a long delay ??

Quote:

Quote:
Whatever Boeing decides to do, Airbus believes the A350 family has the upper hand as it is a "single family of technically superior aircraft" competing against "two families a generation apart".
The A350 will be a "step ahead" of the 787 in every area, claims Airbus. Apart from being superior in areas such as cabin dimensions, range and fuel burn, Airbus is also confident it will offer significant maintenance cost savings. "On a per-seat basis, the 314-seat A350-900 will have 10% lower maintenance costs than the 280-seat 787-9," says Pardoe
[/quote]
.
What Mr. Pardue is saying simply that they would look what Boeing is doing (which is OK), but do it better (How ???)
In essence this means that being late is a merit !!

Quote:

Quote:
Airbus has made these marketing promises to existing and prospective customers, and the challenge facing the engineering team is to make this all a reality, and in double-quick time
[/quote]
This is rightly stated by FLIGHT. Given the organizational problems of Airbus, the inevitable future restructuring and
the funding problems this is a big question mark !!

Quote:
Evrard says Airbus is already engaged with suppliers and intends to make all the key selections between now and the design freeze next year. This is much earlier than is traditional with Airbus programmes

This again is another question mark. AB has not the experience of Boeing to work with a percentage over 50%
of subcontractors and so, to achieve this task in a shorter time as until now is a really long strech!

,

[Edited 2007-06-12 00:19:04]

[Edited 2007-06-12 00:20:17]

[Edited 2007-06-12 00:23:12]

[Edited 2007-06-12 00:25:46]
 
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keesje
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:23 am

Quoting Flight152 (Reply 16):
Since when has the 737NG been two decades behind the A320?

It think he is referring to the CFM56 powered 737-300, -400.

On the pannels, judged inferior here on a.net:

Because we have four separate panels, we can optimise the ply lay-up of each one for its role in the structure enabling us to optimise the weight," says McConnell. "For example, the top and bottom panels mainly carry bending loads, whereas the side ones mainly carry sheer and will be optimised in a different way."

Puts a new perspective on the carbon pannels vs integral fuselage sections.

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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Asturias
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:30 am

Quoting Flight152 (Reply 16):
Since when has the 737NG been two decades behind the A320?

Hehe when it comes to sales, the 737 has been selling since 1967 but when it comes to tech it was just made in the 90s. Funny, but it doesn't matter..

It doesn't matter whether one compares the 320 to any particular model of the 737/DC9/whatever.. it is always either very late or years early. Pick your model, the 320 was not released close to any of them and the 737NG was a reaction to the 320s success. Boeing just waking up and picking up the slack, trying to warm over the 737 to make it a valid competitor to the 320.

Let's check out the 737NG then.. it was five years LATE compared to the 320. It didn't matter one squat in the long run.

The DC9 was a couple of years ahead of the 737-- and it tells us nothing. DC9s would be made today if MDD hadn't been merged into Boeing (the 717 is a DC9 in my book, as are the super-80s)

The DC10 and L1011 were released neck to neck and it also is meaningless information on their success.

Sheesh. There is almost no precedence for competing airplane models to be introduced at virtually the same time. That's a major re-write of history.

Probably it makes more sense to the minuscule attention span of the Nintendo generation to think of it as a race, because it isn't.. I don't know.

It doesn't matter what model you compare it too. The point is the SAME. There is no such thing as being 'too late' in the aviation industry. It is however very bad to be too early.

saludos

Asturias
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:54 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 21):
On the pannels, judged inferior here on a.net:

Because we have four separate panels, we can optimise the ply lay-up of each one for its role in the structure enabling us to optimise the weight," says McConnell. "For example, the top and bottom panels mainly carry bending loads, whereas the side ones mainly carry sheer and will be optimised in a different way."

Puts a new perspective on the carbon pannels vs integral fuselage sections.

Yet Boeing is able to do the same with laying their CFRP, plus they don't have "hard" boundaries between these structural roles thanks to being a continuous structure.
 
PC12Fan
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:32 am

Sometimes being second has it's advantages.
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andessmf
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:41 am

Quoting WINGS (Thread starter):

Certainly an interesting article, with good, thought out responses.

As I had assumed, the A350 won't directly compete with the lower end of the 787 replacement target (A300, A310, 757, 767), but with the higher (A330, A340, 777) end of the market. In overall, a well played game of splitting the market between the two.

Exciting times ahead...
 
azhobo
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:46 am

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 7):
I've been suggesting a possible reason for Airbus insisting on Aluminum frames, and here it is confirmed:

"Another advantage of the hybrid fuselage concept is that the metallic fuselage frames, floor beams and seat rails create what Airbus calls an "electrical network" enabling a carbonfibre fuselage to emulate the electrical continuity of an all-metal fuselage, says McConnell. "This is required in a carbonfibre fuselage to provide a neutral return path for electrical equipment.""

Stated another way...'we cannot build barrels in time so we are opting for panels on an aluminum frame'.

HOBO
 
TeamAmerica
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:46 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 21):
On the pannels, judged inferior here on a.net:

Because we have four separate panels, we can optimise the ply lay-up of each one for its role in the structure enabling us to optimise the weight," says McConnell. "For example, the top and bottom panels mainly carry bending loads, whereas the side ones mainly carry sheer and will be optimised in a different way."

This statement actually implies some limitation in Airbus' technology, Keesje. They seem to say that this is necessary to achieve optimization of the structure, while (as Stitch pointed out) Boeing is able to do this in a single piece.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 23):
Yet Boeing is able to do the same with laying their CFRP, plus they don't have "hard" boundaries between these structural roles thanks to being a continuous structure.

 checkmark Beat me to it!
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474218
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:50 am

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
The new aft cabin shape will be a real improvement, the current design is a major weakness of the A330/340 family.

I agree, the canted floor to me was unacceptable and made the entire aft body look like an after thought. But I did notice that they are doing away with the domed aft pressure bulkhead in favor of a flat bulkhead. Since flat bulkheads are required to be heavier than domed bulkheads, seem like a poor choice. But thats just my opinion.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:52 am

Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 24):
Sometimes being second has it's advantages.

The problem with that is Boeing can come back at them with a response shortly after they arrive. So its not like we are 5 years behind, but 5 years better and will be 5years better for the next decade. Its we are 5 years behind, and if we do better, we got a couple years before its beaten.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:57 am

Quoting EI321 (Reply 14):
The cabin shape is clearly superior

Than what?

Quoting EI321 (Reply 14):
although im not sure why its shown in 8 abreast.

IIRC, Airbus announced they were re-profiling the tail of the A350 before the switch to the "XWB" was made. So the graphic was probably just recycled from when the aircraft was still 8-abreast in standard economy.

Quoting Asturias (Reply 22):
Hehe when it comes to sales, the 737 has been selling since 1967 but when it comes to tech it was just made in the 90s.

Asturias, you're hijacking this thread with an obscure tangent. Neither the 737 nor the A320 have a place in this discussion. The dynamics of the narrow body market are totally different from those in the wide body market, and the events that have led to the duopoly between the 737/A320 are very unlikely to occur with the 787/A350.
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
norcal
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:17 am

Quoting Asturias (Reply 22):
Sheesh. There is almost no precedence for competing airplane models to be introduced at virtually the same time. That's a major re-write of history.

Yes there has, the 707 and the DC-8. Even though some considered the DC-8 to be slightly better than the 707, it was late to the market and lost out. Douglas never recovered from it and began a slow downward spiral.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:21 am

Don't forget the Convair 880, which also came out around the same time (18 months after the 707 entered service).
 
tockeyhockey
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:28 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 6):
Oh for goodness sake. Airbus have reached a new low! Comparing maintenance costs on a per seats basis?

I should hope a 314 seat airplane costs less than a 280 seat airplane, if we are using "per-seat basis" as the matrix. 314 seats is a little over 12% more than 280, so comparing apples to apples (airframe to airframe) the 787-9 is (using the supplied numbers) 2% cheaper.

i think you've got this wrong. a "per-seat" basis is an apples to apples comparison. in other words, it is the cost of maintenance for one seat. this is how you equalize comparisons across airliner types.
 
Areopagus
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:29 am

Quoting 474218 (Reply 28):
But I did notice that they are doing away with the domed aft pressure bulkhead in favor of a flat bulkhead. Since flat bulkheads are required to be heavier than domed bulkheads, seem like a poor choice. But thats just my opinion.

I suspect it is a tradeoff of optimizing the airframe rather than optimizing the bulkhead. The flat bulkhead would be backed by curved supports, much as a bridge can be built with a flat roadbed supported by an arch. The result could be more usable volume in the galley or lavs, and a shorter and lighter afterbody, which allows a greater proportion of revenue floor length to LOA. If so, then the heavier bulkhead could be a worthwhile tradeoff.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:32 am

Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 24):
Sometimes being second has it's advantages.

Note this applies to Boeing and the 787, as well, as once Airbus reaches MG-5, they're "locked in" for a time just as Boeing is now with the 787. However, over the next five years, Boeing will be able to apply lessons and improvements learned in actual airline service to "Block 2" and later models, making them better then the initial "Block 1" models being produced at first.
 
YULWinterSkies
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:42 am

Quoting Flight152 (Reply 16):
Since when has the 737NG been two decades behind the A320?

Please read again before making such comments. Asturias is right in his point. (re-quoted below for clarity)

Quoting Asturias (Reply 15):
How far behind the 737 was the 320? Two decades or so?
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Asturias
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:42 am

Quoting NorCal (Reply 31):
Yes there has, the 707 and the DC-8. Even though some considered the DC-8 to be slightly better than the 707, it was late to the market and lost out. Douglas never recovered from it and began a slow downward spiral.

Since I wrote 'almost no precedence', I can only assume you didn't read my post and just replied to whatever it was that you *thought* I wrote.

As for being late to the market, well your example doesn't support the trend, so you're wrong. Also, the DC8 had nothing to do with MDDs eventual demise 30 years after that plane was introduced.

That's an amazing stretch in logic and gross oversimplification of actual events. A rewrite of history if anything is. The DC8 condemning Douglas? Hehehe, what a silly idea.

saludos

Asturias
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clickhappy
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:48 am

I think you have it wrong Asturias. Being slow to market with the DC-8 surely cost Douglas...and in the end it was only a cash infusion from the McDonnell Aircraft company that saved Douglas. The demise was of McD was another issue altogether.
 
Shenzhen
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:52 am

Quoting Asturias (Reply 37):
Since I wrote 'almost no precedence', I can only assume you didn't read my post and just replied to whatever it was that you *thought* I wrote.

As for being late to the market, well your example doesn't support the trend, so you're wrong. Also, the DC8 had nothing to do with MDDs eventual demise 30 years after that plane was introduced.

One can't forget that as each Major Carrier make their choice, then it makes it that much more difficult for the competing manufacturer to sell their airplane to that Carrier.

I don't know the percentage of widebody frames compared to narrow body nor the percentage wide bodies operated by the 20 largest carriers (80 percent??), but if the largest carriers buy the first frame to market, and the second isn't significantly better, there just might be a problem coming late.

Cheers
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:56 am

Quoting Azhobo (Reply 26):
Stated another way...'we cannot build barrels in time so we are opting for panels on an aluminum frame'.

I think more than A-netters have come to this conclusion-hence the difficulty in the A350 gaining traction. They're going to have a hard time convincing people that the A350 will require 10% less maintenance than the 787; I for one will believe it when airlines that fly both confirm it. It sounds to me like a lot of hype to make up for the fact that they were caught napping, and then taking two years to fully realize it. It also sounds to me that they are optimizing the A350 for extremely long ranges, which will likely give the 787 an advantage on shorter ranges; since there still ain't no free lunch. It will be very interesting to see how they fare when both are flying.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
baron95
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:01 am

Quoting Asturias (Reply 22):
The point is the SAME. There is no such thing as being 'too late' in the aviation industry. It is however very bad to be too early.

Actually, it is important to time the replacement cycle. Some 60%+ of 787s and 70%+ of A350s will be replacing other planes already in service. It just so happens that there is a massive, massive 767/A300 replacement cycle in play. If that window is missed, and Airbus did miss it, yóur sales opportunity is that much smaller.

On the same token, there will be a massive 744 replacement cycle over the next 5-10 years. On that one, it is Boeing that is a bit late, but still in the window with the 748. Airbus is a right on time, but with a slightly too big product.

The A350 will be too late for the 767/A300 replacement window (will just get the tail end of that) and too early for the 777/A330 replacement window.
Killer Fleet: E190, 737-900ER, 777-300ER
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:15 am

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 41):

On the same token, there will be a massive 744 replacement cycle over the next 5-10 years. On that one, it is Boeing that is a bit late, but still in the window with the 748. Airbus is a right on time, but with a slightly too big product.

I would differ with you here; the vast majority of 744's I believe will be replaced by smaller planes, and right now that would most likely be 773's. Those that aren't will be replaced by 748's or A380's, but that will be comparatively few of them. A great number are already being replaced by 773's. Also, since the cycles on a 744 will likely be quite a bit less than smaller planes they may stay in service for a number of years yet, to be replaced by Y3's.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:33 am

I know If I am a fleet planner I'd much rather have a pair of $90million a frame 787s than a single 748 or A388 frame at $180million. More so since most of the airlines in the world needing 744 replacement frames already NEED 787 class aircraft.

Now, the A350 is also in there, I just think its too long till EIS for most airlines to pony up cash, more so since the A350 design has so far proven to be as firm as 1/2 melted jello. Next year? Thats a different story.
 
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autothrust
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:39 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 6):
Oh for goodness sake. Airbus have reached a new low! Comparing maintenance costs on a per seats basis?

Why so much anger? May i ask what Airbus did to you?

Quoting AirSpare (Reply 13):
current airliiners use this system already, is this news? And as discussed, the wing will be all CFRP, but still be bleed, it will be interesting to see how they keep it cool.

How can the Wing be all CFRP when the Ribs are AL-Li?

Quoting Flight152 (Reply 16):
Since when has the 737NG been two decades behind the A320?

I cant see that he wrote NG, so why you added it?

Quoting WINGS (Thread starter):
a robust development timetable.

Very interesting Article, thats what i was thinking why it takes so long until EIS. They want be 100% sure there wont be any delays and to minimize risks. If something goes wrong they still have a margin.
I think Boeing is doing a wonderful Job with the 787 because they didn't have such a safety margin at such a incredible risky Project.
Flown on: DC-9, MD-80, Fokker 100, Bae 146 Avro, Boeing 737-300, 737-400, 747-200, 747-300,747-400, 787-9, Airbus A310, A319, A320, A321, A330-200,A330-300, A340-313, A380, Bombardier CSeries 100/300, CRJ700ER/CRJ900, Embraer 190.
 
norcal
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:52 am

Quoting Asturias (Reply 37):
Since I wrote 'almost no precedence', I can only assume you didn't read my post and just replied to whatever it was that you *thought* I wrote.

Well you left out the best example of two nearly identical products (mission and technology wise) coming to the market within a few years of each other. The 707 and the DC-8 competition is the best example from history we have to look at for the A350 and the 787. (However I don't think that history will repeat itself because the market is far too large for one company to satisfy the demand, but for comparison with history this is the best example to use.)

Quoting Asturias (Reply 37):
As for being late to the market, well your example doesn't support the trend, so you're wrong.
Also, the DC8 had nothing to do with MDDs eventual demise 30 years after that plane was introduced.

First of all Douglas did not become MDD until long after the DC-8 and the fact that they needed to merge proves my point

Secondly my conclusion is correct. During the prop age, Douglas was the king manufacturer. Every since the advent of the DC-3 they had dominated Boeing. However they were slow to adapt the new technology of the jet age while Boeing was not. Consequently Boeing was able to grab a lot of the market and lock Douglas out. The 707 provided the spring board from which Boeing would launch the 727, 737, and the 747. Douglas never recovered from that and was subsequently short of cash necessary to develop a true family of jets like Boeing did. The delay into the jet age was the end of Douglas.
 
bringiton
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:23 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 8):
So the 787-9, which is some 8%-9% smaller in cabin area than the A350XWB-900, and lighter, (with the attendant reduction in capacity) is 2% cheaper to maintain?

It aint 2% cheaper but 2% cheaper per seat , so when we use the per seat argument everything comes down to 1 seat so everyone is equal.
 
MD-90
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:39 pm

Oh that poor plane, it's going to have a snout only a mother could love.

 
andessmf
Posts: 5689
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:53 am

RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:46 pm

Quoting Asturias (Reply 37):
The DC8 condemning Douglas?

Hate to correct you, but:

"In 1967, the company was struggling to expand production to meet demand for DC-8 and DC-9 airliners and the A-4 Skyhawk attack plane. Quality and cash flow problems, combined with shortages due to the Vietnam War, led Douglas to agree to a merger with McDonnell Aircraft Corporation to form McDonnell Douglas."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Aircraft_Company

"In April 1965, Douglas finally announced belated fuselage stretches for the DC-8, with not just one but three new models, known as the Super Sixties. The DC-8 program had been in danger of closing with fewer than 300 aircraft sold, but the Super Sixties brought fresh life to it"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DC-8

Miscalculations of the jet age killed Douglas, and the seeds of their eventual demise can be directly traced to mistakes during this time period.
 
redflyer
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RE: Airbus A350 - Playing Catch Up.

Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:49 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 18):
The problem is that they do have to beat it and convince the customers that in fact they have.

If Airbus didn't trip up over the A380 the way they did, and if they had admitted from the start that the 787 was a formidable product instead of acting like amatuers about it, then I don't think anyone would doubt their ability to produce a competitive, if not better, product in the XWB. The problem is Airbus' problems over the past 2 years have greatly undercut their credibility. No prudent airline executive is going to risk waiting 5 - 7 years to make a strategic decision based on Airbus' recent performances. If Airbus hadn't taken a dump in their pants with the A380 (regardless of its commercial viability) and had acknowledged the 787's market dynamics, I think airline execs would be more comfortable waiting 5 - 7 years for a 787 competitor from Airbus. If you think about it, sales of the 787 skyrocketed right after the A380's production cratered. Coincidence? I'm not saying the A380 and 787 are competing (obviously, they aren't); however, I think the 787's meteoric sales success does in part reflect the market's loss of confidence in Airbus to produce a competing product in a reasonably timely manner.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 21):

On the pannels, judged inferior here on a.net:

Because we have four separate panels, we can optimise the ply lay-up of each one for its role in the structure enabling us to optimise the weight," says McConnell. "For example, the top and bottom panels mainly carry bending loads, whereas the side ones mainly carry sheer and will be optimised in a different way."

Puts a new perspective on the carbon pannels vs integral fuselage sections.

So if Airbus ever goes to an all-composite barrel (say, on the A320's replacement) you'll no doubt be standing here claiming that it would be a dumb move and they should definitely go back to panels, right?  

Quoting Stitch (Reply 23):
Yet Boeing is able to do the same with laying their CFRP, plus they don't have "hard" boundaries between these structural roles thanks to being a continuous structure.

  

Quoting Azhobo (Reply 26):
Stated another way...'we cannot build barrels in time so we are opting for panels on an aluminum frame'.

  

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 39):
One can't forget that as each Major Carrier make their choice, then it makes it that much more difficult for the competing manufacturer to sell their airplane to that Carrier.

Well, there are some airlines, such as SQ, that might opt for both. Personally, I doubt that will happen, especially since SQ has yet to firm up their LOI for the XWB.

But even if Airbus comes out with a superior product in the XWB, who's to say Boeing won't come out with a 787 "NG"? With 600+ firm orders on the books before first flight and likely to hit 700 before EIS, the 787 program has paid for itself at least a couple of times over. So spending a few billion dollars on a next-gen would not be considered a bad investment, especially since Boeing seems to have gotten the market right so far.

[Edited 2007-06-12 06:20:07]
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