Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, hOMSaR

 
calags
Topic Author
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 11:07 am

WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 1:37 pm

Sorry, I think it's subscription only:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1189...3028554.html?mod=hpp_us_whats_news

Headline: Airbus, in Turnabout, Bets On Composite Frame for A350

Fair use excerpt:

"In a switch that could make Airbus's next jetliner more competitive with rival Boeing Co.'s new 787 Dreamliner, the European plane maker plans to build the frame of its planned A350 model from advanced composite materials instead of metal.
...
'We thought the design we had was very good, but this one is even better,' said John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer for customers.
...
John Plueger, president and chief operating officer of leasing titan International Lease Finance Corp., which had criticized Airbus's plans to use the aluminum frame, said he believes Airbus is making the right decision.

'This is what we were hoping for,' Mr. Plueger said. 'We're getting more and more interest in the plane from our leasing customers, so the sooner Airbus can get it to market, the better.'
"


It is not stated as to whether they will try to use a barrel construction method but at the rate things are changing I suppose it's no longer out of the question.
 
tootallsd
Posts: 514
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:02 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 2:09 pm

Barrel construction is the next likely announcement. Will this plane ever move forward? It doesn't seem in Airbus' favor to leak out some fundamental design criteria that may help bridge any real or perceived potential performance gap between 350 and 787.
 
NAV20
Posts: 8453
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 3:25 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 2:13 pm

Next, Leahy will be telling us that Airbus' engine 'white noise' will be 'better' than Boeing's engine 'white noise'.......  

[Edited 2007-09-15 07:15:46]
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
Wsp
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 7:43 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 2:46 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 2):
Next, Leahy will be telling us that Airbus' engine 'white noise' will be 'better' than Boeing's engine 'white noise'.......

You make it sound as if Airbus said composite frames were somehow bad.


That they are looking into composite frames has been known for at least a month now:
http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/aerospace/archives/119820.asp
 
astuteman
Posts: 7113
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 2:57 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 2):
Next, Leahy will be telling us that Airbus' engine 'white noise' will be 'better' than Boeing's engine 'white noise'.......

That, of course, is dear old Randy's province...........

Quoting Tootallsd (Reply 1):
Barrel construction is the next likely announcement

This will be the interesting one.
The "panel" approach is very low risk (for Airbus) - it's just an extension of how the A380 tailcone, and the GLARE panels are already done.
Barrels?
Riskier, in programme terms.........

Regards
 
Beaucaire
Posts: 3888
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2003 4:48 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:17 pm

I would assume EK,BA and LH are highly satisfied with this decision...
That opens the door for massive orders and confirmations of those still outstanding.
Please respect animals - don't eat them...
 
zvezda
Posts: 8886
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:19 pm

Quoting Tootallsd (Reply 1):
It doesn't seem in Airbus' favor to leak out some fundamental design criteria that may help bridge any real or perceived potential performance gap between 350 and 787.

How would it be in Airbus's favor to let potential customers incorrectly believe that they still are developing an inferior design? It seems quite normal that Airbus would want their customers to know that their product is better.

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 4):
Barrels?
Riskier, in programme terms.........

Certainly, barrels are riskier for Airbus than panels, but not as risky as they were for Boeing five years earlier.

Anyway, the current step forward is very welcome. I always thought it odd that Boeing chose metal frames for the 787.
 
UnknownUser
Posts: 254
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:02 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:27 pm

Quoting Calags (Thread starter):
'We thought the design we had was very good, but this one is even better

Haha!! What he really means is, "We saw what Boeing was doing, and we liked it so much that we are going to do it too!"
Die Skybus!!! You need to die for the good of the industry!
 
astuteman
Posts: 7113
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:46 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 6):
How would it be in Airbus's favor to let potential customers incorrectly believe that they still are developing an inferior design? It seems quite normal that Airbus would want their customers to know that their product is better.

 checkmark 

Quoting Calags (Thread starter):
John Plueger, president and chief operating officer of leasing titan International Lease Finance Corp., which had criticized Airbus's plans to use the aluminum frame, said he believes Airbus is making the right decision.

'This is what we were hoping for,' Mr. Plueger said. 'We're getting more and more interest in the plane from our leasing customers, so the sooner Airbus can get it to market, the better.'

The customers appear to back you up on that  Smile

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 6):
Certainly, barrels are riskier for Airbus than panels, but not as risky as they were for Boeing five years earlier.

I hope (and believe) you're right.

Regards
 
ebbuk
Posts: 844
Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 6:47 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:31 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 2):
Next, Leahy will be telling us that Airbus' engine 'white noise' will be 'better' than Boeing's engine 'white noise'.......

Anything airbus do is better than Boeing, according to Leahy, even screwing up!

Quoting UnknownUser (Reply 7):
Haha!! What he really means is, "We saw what Boeing was doing, and we liked it so much that we are going to do it too!"

Shrewd business.

all composite plane, then we'll get high humidity in the airbus cabins to! Yippee.
 
zvezda
Posts: 8886
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:45 pm

Quoting UnknownUser (Reply 7):
Haha!! What he really means is, "We saw what Boeing was doing, and we liked it so much that we are going to do it too!"

No, this goes beyond what Boeing are doing. The 787 uses metal frames, as I mentioned above. Of course, the 787 still has the advantage of barrels rather than panels, but that may change, as Astuteman and I have been predicting for more than a year.

If Airbus do switch to barrels (which the latest announcement shows is still possible), then the A350 indisputably will be a more advanced aircraft than the 787 -- which it should be coming five years later.
 
B777ER
Posts: 431
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 3:35 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:47 pm

Did not someone high up in Airbus say something about all-composite could not be done feasably some time ago when talking about Boeings 787?
 
slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:48 pm

Maybe Airbus is ready to commit to a composite frame only now, because they first wanted to secure a deal to get the fasteners in time... Big grin

Seriously, as the A350 gets worked out, I suppose we will see many material changes like these (possibly even in the other direction, deciding to make some pieces from aluminium/titanium/whatever/ after all), depending on the outcome of detailed trade-off studies: I don't think it is an important turnaround really, that happened when they decided the go all composite, the way in which they do really is just secondary.

Anyway, good to see they are doing their homework properly and are not just copy-pasting the methods of others.
It will probably give the A350 a design which has many resemblances with the other composite designs (material studies should have the same outcome), but with important differences too, notably in those points where knowledge and skills have made great progress. It is not like there can only be one method which is the best, nor that time can't open possibilities for improvements which were impossible e few years ago...

If the A350 gets a fully composite frame indeed, will it not have leapfrogged the 787?
As far as I understood it, there are still some metal frames in the 787 hull.....
 
slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:19 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 10):
This goes beyond what Boeing are doing. The 787 uses metal frames, as I mentioned above.

That's what I've thought too...

If the A350 will see all frames made in composite, Airbus is indeed making use of the time to take the composite construction method which the 787 pioneered in, to a higher level.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 10):
Of course, the 787 still has the advantage of barrels rather than panels, but that may change, as Astuteman and I have been predicting for more than a year.

Airbus doesn't even have to go to monolithic barrels in my view.

Remember the shells which Airbus intend to use each are much longer than any of the numerous barrels which Boeing is using to make up the fuselage of the 787, so the number of fasteners (relative to the size of the fuselage) will not differ dramatically really amongst both methods and provided the A350 has a far more advanced composite frame than the 787, it would likely offset any remaining advantage for the 787 fuselage. Overall, it would then probably make great sense NOT to go to barrels, as shells are far more easier and cheaper produced and transported....

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 10):
If Airbus do switch to barrels (which the latest announcement shows is still possible), then the A350 indisputably will be a more advanced aircraft than the 787 -- which it should be coming five years later.

I think that even a composite shell-based A350, with a composite frame (something the 787 does not have) and a composite wing (which the 787 does not have) should have no problems leapfrogging the 787.
 
iwok
Posts: 979
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 2:35 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:35 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 10):
The 787 uses metal frames, as I mentioned above.

I believe only some of the frames are titanium and most are composite; although I am sure there is someone with more knowlege than me who can confirm/deny this.

Quoting Calags (Thread starter):
'We thought the design we had was very good, but this one is even better,' said John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer for customers.

Olde swampgas at his finest. He makes every backtrack and misjudgement seem like a planned event. You'ce got to give him credit.

I wonder what he'll come up with when Airbus announces a barrel approach.

What iteration of the 350 are we are at now?

1) 350 = 330 with GenX
2) 350 = 330 + GenX + LiAl
3) 350 = 330 + GEnX + LiAl + new wing
4) 350 = 330 + GEnX + LiAl + new wing + crew rest near nose gear
5) 350 = XWB + Trent + metal panels + new wing
6) 350 = XWB + Trent + metal panels + new wing + A380 nose section
7) 350 = XWB + Trent + composite panels + fiberglass coated aluminum frames + new wing + A380 nose section
8) 350 = XWB + Trent + composite panels + composite frames + new wing + A380 nose section

I find it extraordinary that so many planes have been sold for a design that is so undefined. It makes me wonder if the latest "orders" are really more like options.

I wonder if anyone is ready to take bets that a barrel approach will be taken, along with electric architecture and bleedless engines  stirthepot 

iwok
 
User avatar
BlueSky1976
Posts: 1890
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 9:18 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:42 pm

This could be a prelude to the BA and EK order announcement in Dubai. Quite possibly, the lighter composite frame could result in a lighter empty weight, which could bump the range back up. Very interesting development. I doubt they will go to a barrel construction though. This solution could give Airbus advantage over 787 without developing complicated production methods and production infrastructure associated with that.
The queen of the skies is dead.
 
Shenzhen
Posts: 1666
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2003 12:11 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:48 pm

Quoting Iwok (Reply 14):

I believe only some of the frames are titanium and most are composite; although I am sure there is someone with more knowlege than me who can confirm/deny this.

I've only heard that the 787 would have a few Ti frames on A-Net. Every thing else I've heard is composite.

cheers
 
hawkercamm
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 4:15 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:52 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 13):
Airbus doesn't even have to go to monolithic barrels in my view.

Remember the shells which Airbus intend to use each are much longer than any of the numerous barrels which Boeing is using to make up the fuselage of the 787, so the number of fasteners (relative to the size of the fuselage) will not differ dramatically really amongst both methods and provided the A350 has a far more advanced composite frame than the 787, it would likely offset any remaining advantage for the 787 fuselage. Overall, it would then probably make great sense NOT to go to barrels, as shells are far more easier and cheaper produced and transported....

I think the anet believe that barrels are better than panel is not correct and I would expect both solutions to be very near in terms of fuselage weight. I would not expect the CFRP frame to yield much/any weight saving. They up the costs for Airbus but reduce the MX cost for the airlines. So they are a good move for the airlines and perhaps not so for airbus.

With regards to the joining together of the longitudinal panels we should be aware that fuselages have circumferential frame. I expect airbus to use the frames to join the panels with some spliced lap joints in between. Don't forget that the panels/barrels take the bending loads and frames take the sheer loads. Circumferential joints are not good for bending loads. N.B Pressurisation is not the only loads carried by the fuselage structure.

It may be that the decision for Airbus to use panels as apposed to barrels is more to do with optimisation of their manufacturing approach and infrastructure since the weight benefits are not there.
 
User avatar
BlueSky1976
Posts: 1890
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 9:18 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 6:05 pm

Quoting Iwok (Reply 14):
What iteration of the 350 are we are at now?

1) 350 = 330 with GenX
2) 350 = 330 + GenX + LiAl
3) 350 = 330 + GEnX + LiAl + new wing
4) 350 = 330 + GEnX + LiAl + new wing + crew rest near nose gear
5) 350 = XWB + Trent + metal panels + new wing
6) 350 = XWB + Trent + metal panels + new wing + A380 nose section
7) 350 = XWB + Trent + composite panels + fiberglass coated aluminum frames + new wing + A380 nose section
8) 350 = XWB + Trent + composite panels + composite frames + new wing + A380 nose section

...and what iteration of the 787 we are at now?
1) 767 with 777 tail and wings with raked wingtips
2) fishplane with wavy-gravy windows, fishtail and fishwings, common-pylon, wireless IFE
3) fishplane with straight windows, fishtail, fishwings and small winglets, common pylon, wireles IFE
4) fishplane with straight windows, fishtail, supercritical wing and raked wingtips, common pylon, wireless IFE
5) fishplane with straight windows, fishtail, supercritical wing and raked wingtips, common pylon, wireless IFE, thinner insulation
6) '767 on steroids', supercritical wing and raked wingtips, common pylon, wireless IFE, thinner insulation
7) '767 on steroids', supercritical wing and raked wingtips, no common pylon, no wireless IFE, thinner insulation

As you can see, both planes went through very similar changes - although not as dramatic design and engineeringwise in 787s case.

[Edited 2007-09-15 11:06:07]

[Edited 2007-09-15 11:06:59]
The queen of the skies is dead.
 
iwok
Posts: 979
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 2:35 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 6:12 pm

Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 18):
As you can see, both planes went through very similar changes - although not as dramatic in 787s case.

Uhh, actually, the only real major change to the 787 was the elimination of wireless IFE, and thinning the cabin insulation a tad to enable true 9wide seating (however I suspect this was always a backup plan).

Now if you are talking about the 7E7, then you are entirely correct. Once the program was launched, the 787 name was firmed up, and the aircraft defined for us lay people in a way that has not changed much.

If Airbus is really doing market development per se, then it might make sense to call it the 3E0 or something like that until they decided on their path. However the 350 was launced three years ago and all the incarnations that we have talked about happened after launch.

Anyhoo, its no skin off my back what they do...

iwok
 
slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 6:45 pm

Quoting Iwok (Reply 20):
the only real major change to the 787 was the elimination of wireless IFE, and thinning the cabin insulation a tad to enable true 9wide seating

Wasn't that thinning done so pax would enjoy more relaxing engine noise then???
Weird... I could have sworn I saw somebody from Boeing claiming just that!?

Besides, I thought the common pylon was planned to be a pivotal part of the 787 too... as was the sharktail... Looking forward to seeing the first pictures of them as the first 787 is re-assembled with the right pieces more than 2 months after its first roll-out....

Anyway, I expect Airbus to announce they have frozen the design concept of the A350XWB in a few weeks (entirely composite wing and composite shells on an entirely composite frame) followed by a massive order from Emirates and ILFC.

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 16):
I've only heard that the 787 would have a few Ti frames on A-Net.

We have all been able to see pictures of them on A.net... so far for it being just a myth!
Somebody can surely dig them up again...

When ILFC asked Airbus rather publicly how they were going to handle corrosion of the then planned metal frames, the answer of Airbus' chief engineer was: "just like Boeing will do on their 787: with fiberglass coatings!" Quite a few commentators only then discovered on the spot the composite barrels of the 787 are only semi-self-supporting and indeed need a frame which is not entirely composite...

The much hyped 787 monolithic fuselage clearly appears to be far from monolithic ("we lacked thousands of fasteners to bolt the pieces together, but hey, that's just the industry's fault") and far from entirely composite either ("Well euh yes, there are some metal frames under the barrels indeed, yet we forgot to mention that in the press briefings so far.") so it is not like there isn't room for improvement to the 787 design.... Seems like Airbus will do just that.

[Edited 2007-09-15 11:48:49]
 
User avatar
BlueSky1976
Posts: 1890
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 9:18 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 7:05 pm

Quoting Iwok (Reply 20):
Now if you are talking about the 7E7, then you are entirely correct. Once the program was launched, the 787 name was firmed up, and the aircraft defined for us lay people in a way that has not changed much.

As far as I remember (and I remember just about everything about 787 programme, since I followed it from the time it was still a back - burner alternative project to Sonic Cruiser), 7E7 equaled 787, so your point in this case is invalid.

Quoting Iwok (Reply 20):
However the 350 was launced three years ago and all the incarnations that we have talked about happened after launch.

When it comes to Boeing side, the 'Fishplane' concept of 787 morphed into '767 on steroids' a year after ANA placed a launch order. Until then, the 'fishplane' was 787 in all of Boeings marketing materials and campaigns from the moment Boeing had the authority to offer it for sale. You could probably still find some images of 'fishplane' concept on the internet in the liveries of JAL, Ethiopian, Blue Panorama, FirstChoice and a few others who ordered it before it became the 787 we know today.
The queen of the skies is dead.
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 10113
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 7:06 pm

Interesting to note the difference in situations in design changes. Boeing had numerous changes on its 7E7 design, they basically firmed them up then offered the aircraft up for sale, at least 2 variants of it. Based on its construction and production it is being hailed as a major development in aviation.

Airbus seems to have also raised the bar in aviation development, not sure if it was intended. What they have changed is the way aircraft are designed and offered to clients. Based on the Airbus model being developed with the A350, it is no longer necessary to firm up design and construction specs prior to offering an aircraft up for sale, which in Boeings case, wasted time. Airbus came up with a preliminary design, offered it for sale and got orders, as the design changes and gets firmed up, you can continue to get orders for each variant until the final version is completed. If any sums of money changes hands, deposits etc. during this process, do these purchasers become defacto investors in their project from a money / accounting point of view?
Generalization of course, but based on what has happened is this accurate and does it make sense? Certainely, some customers of the initial version are demanding compensation, but since no product has yet been built, and Airbus has had their funds on deposit earning interest, are they really loosing any money on the A350 program?
 
KrisYUL
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:25 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:18 pm

Not to mention, from a risk point-of-view, Airbus get's to sit around and watch what happens with the 787. When new technology is concerned, it is sometimes best to be second. Case-in-point: The DH Comet certainly didn't do much good for DH....
Flown on: L1011, A310, A332, A333, A319, B732, B752, B763, CRJ100, CRJ200, DC9, DHC-8-100
 
zvezda
Posts: 8886
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:34 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 13):
If the A350 will see all frames made in composite, Airbus is indeed making use of the time to take the composite construction method which the 787 pioneered in, to a higher level.

Agreed.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 13):
Remember the shells which Airbus intend to use each are much longer than any of the numerous barrels which Boeing is using to make up the fuselage of the 787, so the number of fasteners (relative to the size of the fuselage) will not differ dramatically really amongst both methods and provided the A350 has a far more advanced composite frame than the 787, it would likely offset any remaining advantage for the 787 fuselage. Overall, it would then probably make great sense NOT to go to barrels, as shells are far more easier and cheaper produced and transported....

The stresses on the longitudinal and circumferential joints are quite different.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 13):
I think that even a composite shell-based A350, with a composite frame (something the 787 does not have) and a composite wing (which the 787 does not have) should have no problems leapfrogging the 787.

The 787 does have a composite wing.

Quoting Iwok (Reply 14):
I believe only some of the frames are titanium and most are composite; although I am sure there is someone with more knowlege than me who can confirm/deny this.

My understanding is that some 787 frames are titanium and that most are aluminium alloy.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 20):
I thought the common pylon was planned to be a pivotal part of the 787 too... as was the sharktail...

The sharktail a "pivotal" part of the 787???  rotfl 
 
Joni
Posts: 2613
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2000 11:05 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:39 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 6):

How would it be in Airbus's favor to let potential customers incorrectly believe that they still are developing an inferior design? It seems quite normal that Airbus would want their customers to know that their product is better.

I think Airbus has consistently been telling their customers that the XWB is superior to the B787.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 12):
If the A350 gets a fully composite frame indeed, will it not have leapfrogged the 787?
As far as I understood it, there are still some metal frames in the 787 hull.....

How many percent do you assume this change saves weight from the entire OEW? 0,05%
 
User avatar
autothrust
Posts: 1468
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:54 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:44 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 20):
Anyway, I expect Airbus to announce they have frozen the design concept of the A350XWB in a few weeks (entirely composite wing and composite shells on an entirely composite frame) followed by a massive order from Emirates and ILFC.

Aren't you a little over optimistic? Isn't design freeze mid 2008? I doubt we will see massive order from ILFC without GE option at this point.(please correct me if i'm wrong)
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.
 
User avatar
glideslope
Posts: 1594
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 8:06 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:51 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 2):
Next, Leahy will be telling us that Airbus' engine 'white noise' will be 'better' than Boeing's engine 'white noise'.......  

LOL, or maybe BOSE will develope wirless cabin tecnology so the 350 will be quieter than the 380. Personally, I think there is nothing wrong with listening to stomachs growling the entire trip.  chat 
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
 
egnr
Posts: 418
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 8:31 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:54 pm

Quoting AutoThrust (Reply 26):
I doubt we will see massive order from ILFC without GE option at this point.(please correct me if i'm wrong

GECAS is the leasing company least likely to place an order for A350 without a GE engine option.
7late7, A3latey, Sukhoi Superlate... what's going on?
 
NYC777
Posts: 5103
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2004 3:00 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:27 pm

Yep the next iteration would be that they will use barrels instead of panels for the fuselage. then after that the next iteration will be using bleedless thus forcing a 8th or is it 9th redesin. EIS...2020 at the earliest after everything is all said and done. The reaction from the market has been loud and clear and Airbus has failed repeatedly to listen to what their customers have to say despite the BS that Leahy spews out.

MEanwhile Boeig with all their problems actually bought a design to market that made the airlines stand up and notice and they in turned are forcing Airbus to play the game Boeing's way.

They forced Airbus to to a new design, forced Airbus to composite fuselage, forced Airbus into composite frame, forced Airbus into outsourcing production...in other words the 787 was a game changer...I wonder what's next? Boeing never had to endure this with the 787 due to the fact that they got it right the first time with the 787.

[Edited 2007-09-15 15:31:20]
That which does not kill me makes me stronger.
 
zvezda
Posts: 8886
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:42 pm

Quoting Joni (Reply 25):
I think Airbus has consistently been telling their customers that the XWB is superior to the B787.

I apologize for being less than perfectly clear. I meant superior to the prior A350 design, not relative to the 787.

Quoting Joni (Reply 25):
How many percent do you assume this change saves weight from the entire OEW? 0,05%

That would be about 50kg, which is worth half of a marginal fare per flight for the life of the aircraft.
 
slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:43 pm

Quoting NYC777 (Reply 30):
Boeing never had to endure this with the 787 due to the fact that they got it right the first time with the 787.

Sonic Cruiser anybody?

It is not like Boeing went in a straight line from 767 to 787, don't you think so too?

The bumpy road Boeing took to arrive to the 787 makes the path from A330 to A350 look like a highway.

[Edited 2007-09-15 15:43:50]
 
JoeCanuck
Posts: 4704
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:30 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:45 pm

When the 787 was first up for sale, wasn't Airbus deriding the CFRP fuse because it's not as strong, more difficult to repair, harder to discover damage and generally more dangerous? I seem to recall statements to that effect...but I could be wrong.
What the...?
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2727
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:59 pm

Quoting Iwok (Reply 14):
5) 350 = XWB + Trent + metal panels + new wing
6) 350 = XWB + Trent + metal panels + new wing + A380 nose section

You forgot that the A350 underwent a massive configuration change after tha XWB not related to materials. change in wingsweep, and a host of other fairly signifgant detail changes from nose to tail.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 32):
Sonic Cruiser anybody?

Sonic Cruiser != 787.
Sonic Cruiser != dead
Sonic Cruiser != failure.

When Boeing was talking to airlines about the sonic cruiser it was a MORE economical plane than the current 787 would have been in that era. Shaving that much time off long distance routes with no increase in TRIP fuel burn was going to give airlines far lower bills across the board OTHER than the fuel bill, which would be the same. Less crew costs, in some cases massively lower crew costs as instead of require 2 complete crews for some routes due to time, you only need one. Lower MX costs as the hours used is lower. Higer revenue as it gives Airlines better windows for departure and arrival. Lower slot costs in many cases, as you could suddenly leave at a "off" time, and arrive at a peak arrival time.


Anyhoo on-topic, It is my understanding that the 787 would be composte frames, other than the places that needed titaniuym frames for whatever reason. The internal structure of the 787 wing is still aluminum.
 
NYC777
Posts: 5103
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2004 3:00 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:00 pm

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 33):
When the 787 was first up for sale, wasn't Airbus deriding the CFRP fuse because it's not as strong, more difficult to repair, harder to discover damage and generally more dangerous? I seem to recall statements to that effect...but I could be wrong.

No you're right on all accounts. Funny how an innovative design makes you backpeddle.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 32):
Sonic Cruiser anybody?

Sonic Cruiser was a casulty of 9/11 and nothing else. You can try and delude people here but there was a huge downturn and it doesn't make sense to bring a new risky design in a market downturn
That which does not kill me makes me stronger.
 
zvezda
Posts: 8886
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:02 pm

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 33):
When the 787 was first up for sale, wasn't Airbus deriding the CFRP fuse because it's not as strong, more difficult to repair, harder to discover damage and generally more dangerous? I seem to recall statements to that effect...but I could be wrong.

That's the marketing department's job and it's neither more nor less ridiculous than the Boeing attempt to paint the WhaleJet's quiet cabin as a problem and noisier Boeing cabins as a benefit.
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 26904
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:11 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 10):
If Airbus do switch to barrels (which the latest announcement shows is still possible), then the A350 indisputably will be a more advanced aircraft than the 787 -- which it should be coming five years later.

I wonder if this will now compel Boeing to do Y3 with composite internal frames instead of trying to push the 787's length and MTOW.

I expect the A350 EIS will be pushed back 12-18 months with this switch, with Airbus noting that "it will be worth the wait".

Such a delay will allow Boeing to continue to improve the program RoI of the 777 as more companies "on the fence" take 77Ls and 77Ws as interim lift and it gives Boeing the time for a thorough design review of Y3 to incorporate the lessons learned from building and flying the 787. Also, it will give Boeing some more breathing room on getting Y1 out the door.

Airbus will have a very nice second half of the 2010's with the A350 against the 777 and will secure plenty of 777-200A/777-200ER/777-300 replacement sales, but Boeing will have shedloads of 787 and 737RS sales during that time, and then EIS Y3 around 2020 just in time to capitalize on the 777-200LR/777-300ER replacement cycle.
 
777236ER
Posts: 12213
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 7:10 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:12 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 36):
WhaleJet

Do you mean the A380?
Your bone's got a little machine
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 26904
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:15 pm

The full article is now available on the WSJ page linked from Google News - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1189...8553028554.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
 
zvezda
Posts: 8886
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:20 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 37):
I wonder if this will now compel Boeing to do Y3

No, the A350 does not compel Boeing to flush about $10B down the toilet developing an aircraft that cannot break even.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 37):
I expect the A350 EIS will be pushed back 12-18 months with this switch, with Airbus noting that "it will be worth the wait".

I see no reason to expect that this refinement will cause any further delays to the A350. First delivery is still seven years away. That should be ample time to develop composite frames given Airbus' extensive experience with composites.
 
Asiaflyer
Posts: 911
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:50 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:24 pm

Quoting Iwok (Reply 14):
What iteration of the 350 are we are at now?

1) 350 = 330 with GenX
2) 350 = 330 + GenX + LiAl
3) 350 = 330 + GEnX + LiAl + new wing
4) 350 = 330 + GEnX + LiAl + new wing + crew rest near nose gear
5) 350 = XWB + Trent + metal panels + new wing
6) 350 = XWB + Trent + metal panels + new wing + A380 nose section
7) 350 = XWB + Trent + composite panels + fiberglass coated aluminum frames + new wing + A380 nose section
8) 350 = XWB + Trent + composite panels + composite frames + new wing + A380 nose section

Its is called development, whoever the manufacturer is, and I dont see anything wrong with it.
I only see alot of extra money spent on it by Airbus.
In this particular case, I think Boeing has the upper hand, by starting developing the next generation WBs (787) far ahead of Airbus (A350XWB), and I think Boeing, despite the latest minor delay of B787, has done a superior job.
What I dont understand is why so many people are bashing on Airbus for following them?
Airbus have clearly said that design freeze is mid 2008 and until then they should use every work-hour to improve their concept and technology.
If every manufacturer were not allowed to use the latest known technology, it would be like only one car brand today would use ABS breaks or Airbags etc because someone else was doing it first.
What should worry Airbus today is that while they are using alot of resources them self to get the A350XWB right, Boeing can go ahead with working on their next concept and thereby be ahead with the following generation as well.
 
slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:39 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 24):
My understanding is that some 787 frames are titanium and that most are aluminium alloy.

I think so to...

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 34):
The internal structure of the 787 wing is still aluminum.

Correct indeed....

Seems like the A350XWB will do away with most of the metal on both areas: If so, then Airbus is taking the composite game to a much higher level than boeing has done with the 787 and the A350 rightfully may be seen as being a step beyond, regardless of it being composed of barrels or shells...

Just like bleedless engines, barrels may turn out to be a fancy full but really a non-decisive element in all this with benefits easily offset through other means...

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 36):
That's the marketing department's job.

I think that so far both the A350 and the 787 have suffered quite a lot from the work the marketing departments have done... The A350 is undoubtedly steadily evolving into an excellent plane, yet because of the eager of some at Airbus to announce superiority too soon, it has some egg on the face and the 787 is running into more and more troubles too because some idiots thought it would be great to roll it out on 7/8/07, forcing engineers to use ordinary bolts from the local hardware store to put it together in time!

Quoting Stitch (Reply 37):
I expect the A350 EIS will be pushed back 12-18 months with this switch.

I think you will find the EIS unchanged; in fact an Airbus spokesman has just said the switch to composite frames already happened some time ago, was communicated to the (potential) customers and is a non-issue really and that EIS remains unchanged.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 40):
I see no reason to expect that this refinement will cause any further delays to the A350. First delivery is still seven years away. That should be ample time to develop composite frames given Airbus' extensive experience with composites.

Indeed.

Besides, if I remember correctly, Airbus has always kept the option open to opt for composite frames after all, provided the trade-off study would show it to be beneficial and it would not delay the program: both conditions have been met, so it is logical to improve the design...

Seems somebody is a bit all to eager to detract attention from the mess Boeing caused in the 787 programme and thus makes use of the classic recepy: look for something to bash the opponent... cant be found in the A380, which is said to be even better than promised, so why not take the A350 and label the latest more detailed plans of it as another U-turn?
 
KrisYUL
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:25 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:42 pm

Speaking of cars, automakers test every part in a new car, yet we still see recalls all the time. As the 787 has yet to fly a single minute, it is far too premature to label all of the 787's innovations a success. Joints might fail, the "more electric" concept might prove to be a nightmare.

Bottom line, the 787 has potential, but has yet to realize that into actual achievement.

In any case, Airbus has the upper hand in that it can adopt things that work, and stay well clear of those that don't.

The DH Comet was an innovation - it had a habit of crashing.
The MD-11 was even behind the times, and it didn't work out so well either (partly) due to technical problems.

In both these cases, issues only arose after it started to fly - so let's hold off popping the corks until the 787 is in the air.

[Edited 2007-09-15 16:44:54]
Flown on: L1011, A310, A332, A333, A319, B732, B752, B763, CRJ100, CRJ200, DC9, DHC-8-100
 
User avatar
glideslope
Posts: 1594
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 8:06 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:50 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 32):
The bumpy road Boeing took to arrive to the 787 makes the path from A330 to A350 look like a highway.

You can't be serious. The Sonic Cruiser was a concept. It never received a launch.

I thought I was being optimistic with my A350 2015 EIS. I might be tempted to go 2017 now. Airbus will need to develop much of their own Barrel technology, as most of Boeing's including the polymer formulation is patented. Which IMO, was the genesis for the Airbus "Panels" approach in the 1st place. I'll believe the 350 will be a barrel when I see some "official" release.  redflag 
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
 
slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:54 pm

Quoting KrisYUL (Reply 43):
Airbus has the upper hand in that it can adopt things that work, and stay well clear of those that don't.

That's the point exactly.

Some here think it is an advantage to be moving into largely unknown territory first: I'd say it isn't.

Moving first only gives you a clear advantage over your competitor for as long as you are the only one moving: as soon as others decide to cross the Rubicon too, it is only a matter of time before the advantage of before is turning into a handicap so to say...

Looks like it is about to happen to the 787.

It would have been in Boeing's best interest to have Airbus stick to the final A350, or if not, at least to the A350XWB as most here still knew it till yesterday, but it seems Airbus is taking composites a step beyond indeed, just as promised.
 
slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:04 am

Quoting Glideslope (Reply 44):
I thought I was being optimistic with my A350 2015 EIS. I might be tempted to go 2017 now

ROTLF

Quoting Glideslope (Reply 44):
I'll believe the 350 will be a barrel when I see some "official" release.

Who is talking about barrels being used by Airbus?

Barrels are just one way to increase the overall percentage of composites in the fuselage!

Boeing wanted to make use of composites in their fuselage, yet was unable to produce a composite frame for the 787, so they had to find a method to reduce the number of metal frames and they came up with the barrel technique, which allowed them to reduce the number of metal frames.

Looks like Airbus thinks they are able to produce an entirely composite frame and thus need not make use of the complex barrel technique which really is not the easiest technique there is to manufacture or transport.
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 26904
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:06 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 40):
No, the A350 does not compel Boeing to flush about $10B down the toilet developing an aircraft that cannot break even.

So you believe the A350's sales momentum would be so great that Y3 would be unable to make up being late to market?

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 42):
I think you will find the EIS unchanged; in fact an Airbus spokesman has just said the switch to composite frames already happened some time ago, was communicated to the (potential) customers and is a non-issue really and that EIS remains unchanged.

I do recall Airbus commenting that they were considering going to "black aluminum" (a.k.a. CFRP) frames during the initial discussions of the A350XWB, but had decided instead to pursue conventional Al frames. But if they have indeed been performing a parallel development program with CFRP frames, then yes, it should not impact EIS much, if at all.
 
zvezda
Posts: 8886
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:11 am

Let's not get carried away here. The A350 has the potential to be a better airliner than the 787, but it will be years before than becomes clear either way -- just as it took years after the 777 was flying before it became clear that it was better than the A340.

One possible explanation for the preponderance of 787-8 orders over 787-9 orders is that airlines are taking a wait-and-see approach in the larger sizes where the A350 will compete. Another possible explanation is that smaller airliners generally sell in higher numbers than larger airliners and that the 787-8 hits some sort of "sweet-spot." Yet another possible reason is the fact that the 787-8 was available two years earlier than the 787-9. Most likely, it is a combination of these reasons. Regardless, it seems five to ten years too early to make definitive pronouncements about which aircraft is superior.
 
Glareskin
Posts: 1014
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:35 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:12 am

Apple is going from Plastic to metal for the iPod's. Boeing and Airbus going in the opposite direction. Seriously though, this whole composite thing for the 787 leads to what, 4% extra weight savings. There was this nice pie diagram on a.net. And this new frames thing will lead to...... 1% extra! Feels like Dr. Evil with his pink to his mouth. Isn't it easier to find extra efficiency with other improvements?
There's still a long way to go before all the alliances deserve a star...
 
astuteman
Posts: 7113
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: WSJ: Airbus Switches To Composite Frames

Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:19 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 37):
I expect the A350 EIS will be pushed back 12-18 months with this switch

There's no way that switching to CFRP frames will impact an EIS 6 years away.

Barrels might be a different matter

Regards

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos