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Stitch
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:37 am

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 49):
LN1 was never intended to go together as a production airplane. It's a flight test airplane, which means a whole bunch of extra wiring, instrumentation, equipment, etc.

It is actually both. Boeing will deliver LN0001 to NH, it just will not be (nor was it ever intended to be) the first 787 delivered to NH.

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 49):
The next plane down the pipe is one of the structural test airplanes (can't remember if it's static or fatigue), then you get to the next plane that will be flow, which is expected to finish about the same time as LN1.

LN9997 and LN9998 are the two static test frames. I know some of their parts are at PAE, but I do not know if they are complete or not.
 
art
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:01 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 20):
It would be interesting to know what RR are doing with T1000 production.

What they did with T900 production?
 
sh0rtybr0wn
Posts: 373
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:08 am

Its just hard to believe.

It cannot be shortage of fasteners.They might not have a trillion, but i can't see how they dont have enough for 1 plane, especially since Alenia is working on parts for the 18th 787 aircraft. If it was a software problem, than the other planes would be built and taxi-ing , even if not flying.

All the suppliers have at least 1 part each for the next plane, and somewhere on earth is a manufacturer who could make enough fasteners for that 1 plane.

That plane ( the second 787 ) should be built by now; at least some sections ready to be assemblked should be finished and waiting at the Boeing factory.

So is the problem that the manufacturers of the fuselage segments dont know how to stuff them, and Boeing has to figure it out / show them -- and that takes 6 months? If so, thats a massive mistake in planning.

Did somebody at Boeing forget to schedule the time to train the people to pre-assemble the sections, or was training or pre-stuff preparation so sketchy that they never actually learned how to do it? I almost want to ask if there is a design problem.

I'm a huge Boeing fan, but the more I read of this thread the more nervous I get. Isn't it better to take all fasteners and get the second plane complete to start testing it than continue to make multiple pre-stuffed sections without putting together another plane?
 
redflyer
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:22 am

Quoting Sh0rtybr0wn (Reply 52):
It cannot be shortage of fasteners.They might not have a trillion, but i can't see how they dont have enough for 1 plane, especially since Alenia is working on parts for the 18th 787 aircraft. If it was a software problem, than the other planes would be built and taxi-ing , even if not flying.

All the suppliers have at least 1 part each for the next plane, and somewhere on earth is a manufacturer who could make enough fasteners for that 1 plane.

 checkmark 

It sounds an awful lot like the A380 problems in the beginning. At first Airbus said it was the complexity of each customer's customization requirements, and while that was part of the explanation we learned later (much later) that it was in fact a design issue. I'm wondering: what is the real culprit here with the 787's problems? Like you, I'm eager for Boeing to be successful at this, but I'm not blinding myself to reality. Something just doesn't smell right.
A government big enough to take away a constitutionally guaranteed right is a government big enough to take away any guaranteed right. A government big enough to give you everything you need is a government big enough to take away everything you have.
 
brendows
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:33 am

Quoting Art (Reply 51):
What they did with T900 production?

RR put the production of Trent 900s on hold for quite a while, due to the delays Airbus encountered with the A380. This happened last fall.
 
baroque
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:05 am

Quoting Swallow (Reply 37):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 20):
It would be interesting to know what RR are doing with T1000 production

I hope lightening does not strike twice. They have just re-started T900 production and it would be sad if they had to suspend T1000 production.

"Zackerly"!! You do have to wonder if we would not be better off if the engine manufacturers were also doing the airframes. Of late, the engine manufacturers have seldom been late, which we now cannot say for either A or B.

The proverbial fly on the wall at RR (and probably GE) would no doubt have some interesting material to report as the news has come in from their customers.
 
gigneil
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:13 am

Quoting Beagleboys (Reply 19):
also actually there's nothing about that on the alenia internet site... no press relase, no word...

Why would there be anything on the Alenia site? This isn't an ATR, or any Alenia end product.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 18):
I think Boeing has some URGENT explanation to do,

I am positive they have urgently explained it to everyone that deserves an explanation, which is none of us.

NS
 
JoeCanuck
Posts: 4704
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:33 am

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 56):

WHAT...? They aren't obligated to satisfy the curiosity of the posters of A.Net about every aspect of the inner workings of their multi billion dollar business, even though most of us aren't customers or even shareholders...? For shame...
What the...?
 
tdscanuck
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:44 am

Quoting Sh0rtybr0wn (Reply 52):
It cannot be shortage of fasteners.They might not have a trillion, but i can't see how they dont have enough for 1 plane, especially since Alenia is working on parts for the 18th 787 aircraft.

You're severely underestimating the complexity and lead time of aerospace fasteners.

Quoting Sh0rtybr0wn (Reply 52):
Did somebody at Boeing forget to schedule the time to train the people to pre-assemble the sections, or was training or pre-stuff preparation so sketchy that they never actually learned how to do it?

Boeing didn't forget, the suppliers forgot or ignored it (tough to tell which). The whole 787 model is that the suppliers pre-assemble the sections before they go to Everett. For LN1 the suppliers knew exactly what they were supposed to have done, didn't do it, and shipped anyway. There are quotes in the press from Boeing project managers that they were shocked at the difference between what was committed and what actually showed up. Since Boeing never planned to do the pre-assembly they didn't train their own people for it and (much more importantly) they don't have the tools or procedures to do it. So Boeing is having to reverse engineer the assembly process that the suppliers were supposed to have done but didn't.

Obviously, something has gotten very screwed up in the supply chain. On the upside, none of that is related to the design of the 787 itself.

Tom.
 
abba
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:02 am

Quoting FAEDC3 (Reply 46):
Even if Alenia had shipped their fuse barrels, completely stuffed, and on time... the fasteners shortage would of created the same situation that we are discussing now... I wouldn´t blame the calamity on Alenia... they are definately not the ones to point at.

Which begs the question - Why was Alenia late in the first place? Was it because they were not up to their marks - or was Boeing late providing them with specs.?

Abba
 
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Stitch
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:12 pm

Quoting Sh0rtybr0wn (Reply 52):
It cannot be shortage of fasteners.They might not have a trillion, but i can't see how they dont have enough for 1 plane, especially since Alenia is working on parts for the 18th 787 aircraft.

As Boeing found out with LN0001, you can't just use "off the shelf" fasteners from the local Home Depot when it comes to final assembly.

These fasteners are designed and built to a specific standard - not only for the 787, but for aviation certification authorities. Boeing believed they provided enough time for the suppliers to catch up, but they were wrong.

Quoting Sh0rtybr0wn (Reply 52):
All the suppliers have at least 1 part each for the next plane, and somewhere on earth is a manufacturer who could make enough fasteners for that 1 plane.

The trick is, Boeing is not building just one plane. They're building at least 18 in various stages. Each of those planes requires fasteners and Boeing is trying to get those planes delivered in a far more completed state then LN0001 was. As such, Boeing is sending fasteners on to those suppliers rather then hoarding them to complete LN0001 which, again, is not ready for final assembly, anyway.

Quoting Sh0rtybr0wn (Reply 52):
That plane ( the second 787 ) should be built by now; at least some sections ready to be assembled should be finished and waiting at the Boeing factory...So is the problem that the manufacturers of the fuselage segments dont know how to stuff them, and Boeing has to figure it out / show them -- and that takes 6 months? If so, thats a massive mistake in planning.

The delay is allowing the suppliers to catch-up on completing LN0002 and onward. And yes, they were behind schedule, but remember there was no "training sections" to...well, train on. The workers had to start from scratch and, again, it looks like Boeing underestimated the time it would take for them to get up to speed.
 
sh0rtybr0wn
Posts: 373
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:25 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 60):
The workers had to start from scratch and, again, it looks like Boeing underestimated the time it would take for them to get up to speed.

Thanks for clearing that up. I guess I am a bit freaked out by all the delays, and I just want to see or hear some good news from the 787 program. It is good to know that by solving these CFRP fuselage manufacturing issues on the 787, they're also figuring out things for the 737RS project too, because they're likely to be be similar.
 
swallow
Posts: 182
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:03 pm

According to Scott Leeham and as Stitch has pointed out above, the cessation of shipments is designed to reduce travel work.

Quote: '...this is part of the rescheduling to reduce travel work. Major components for only two aircraft have been received and the travel work has been a huge problem for Boeing. With the six month delay, the suppliers were asked by Boeing to
keep their shipments longer to finish work and eliminate travel work'

Source: http://www.leeham.net/filelib/ScottsColumn103007.pdf

The silver lining with such delays is that they allow suppliers to improve the quality of the product they deliver. RR was able to add improvements and upgrades to the T900 engines after suspending production last year.
The grass is greener where you water it
 
NYC777
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:44 pm

Quoting Abba (Reply 59):
Which begs the question - Why was Alenia late in the first place? Was it because they were not up to their marks - or was Boeing late providing them with specs.?

Neither,, they were late getting their plant completed.
That which does not kill me makes me stronger.
 
baroque
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:44 pm

Quoting Swallow (Reply 62):
The silver lining with such delays is that they allow suppliers to improve the quality of the product they deliver. RR was able to add improvements and upgrades to the T900 engines after suspending production last year.

Do you have a reference for that? There was much discussion about what RR would do during the period of inactivity, but no conclusions as to what they would actually do.
 
FAEDC3
Posts: 113
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:53 pm

Quoting NYC777 (Reply 63):
Neither,, they were late getting their plant completed

Correct

I would say that the explanation made by Leeham and mentioned by Stich makes a lot of sense to me... I am not trying to doubt, and rather would like to believe, so I say, at least for me it is satisfactory as an explanation... it makes sense to suspend shipments to allow the barrels (in the case of Alenia) to be shipped as complete as possible.

Those incomplete barrels will not progress at Boeing´s facility, but if they are at Alenia´s, they can use the time and stuff them right?
 
Rheinbote
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:45 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 60):
Boeing is not building just one plane. They're building at least 18 in various stages.

Alenia may have shipset #18 in progress, but MHI certainly isn't that far with the wings. And what's up with Vought? Did they manage to get the joint between sections 47 and 48 right in the meantime?

Quoting Stitch (Reply 60):
remember there was no "training sections" to...well, train on. The workers had to start from scratch and, again, it looks like Boeing underestimated the time it would take for them to get up to speed.

There were at least two demonstrators for each major barrel type plus pre-production verification samples. I read somewhere that Boeing originally planned to verify the (center) fuselage mating process using PPV barrels at Charleston. I never found evidence though that this has ever happened. Was it never planned or was it dropped off the agenda due to late availability of the Dreamlifter or maybe in the hassle towards 7/8/07?

[Edited 2007-10-30 11:53:45]
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 26690
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RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:34 pm

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 66):
There were at least two demonstrators for each major barrel type plus pre-production verification samples.

I know Boeing made nine "test barrels", but to my knowledge they did not actually internally fit them out to the point that they were identical to an actual production unit.
 
Rheinbote
Posts: 1103
Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 9:30 pm

RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:56 pm

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 49):
I found an article today that says Alenia gets $6-8 million for every shipset they deliver to Boeing. That suggests they'd want to keep pushing deliveries as long as Boeing would take them.

No use in pushing. Tier-1 suppliers won't get paid for any shipments before certification of the airplane. You can take contractual details like that from some suppliers' SEC filings.

e.g. for Spirit
http://www.secinfo.com/dsvr4.v86y.htm
Our business depends on the success of a new model aircraft, the B787.
The success of our business will depend, in large part, on the success of Boeing’s new B787 program. We have entered into supply agreements with Boeing pursuant to which we will be a Tier 1 supplier to the B787 program. We have made and will continue to make a significant investment in this program before the first commercial delivery of a B787 aircraft, which is scheduled for 2008. If there is not sufficient demand for the B787 aircraft, or if there are technological problems or significant delays in the regulatory certification or manufacturing and delivery schedule for such aircraft, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.
...
Pricing for the B787-8, the base model currently going into production, is generally established through 2021, with prices decreasing as cumulative volume levels are met over the life of the program. When we negotiated the B787-8 pricing, we assumed that our development of new technologies and capabilities would reduce our production costs over the life of the B787 program, thus maintaining or improving our margin on each B787 we produced. We cannot assure you that our development of new technologies or capabilities will be successful or that we will be able to reduce our B787 production costs over the life of the program. Our failure to reduce production costs as we have anticipated could result in decreasing margins on the B787 during the life of the program.
...
We expect that our working capital requirements will increase significantly over the next two years as the B787 program progresses toward FAA certification and we build inventory in support of the program. Under our arrangement with Boeing, ...

we will not receive payment for B787 shipsets delivered to Boeing prior to FAA certification ...

We anticipate that this will lead to a short-term increase in our accounts receivable balances as we expect to deliver shipsets beginning in mid-2007, but do not expect Boeing to receive FAA certification of the B787 until mid-2008. Accounts receivable balances associated with the B787 program will return to normal levels after FAA certification is received. In the aggregate, we expect total working capital for the B787 program, including the net of production inventory, engineering costs capitalized into inventory, accounts receivable and accounts payable, to increase by $500 million to $600 million between March 31, 2006 and mid-2008 when the B787 is expected to achieve FAA
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:14 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 68):
Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 66):
There were at least two demonstrators for each major barrel type plus pre-production verification samples.

I know Boeing made nine "test barrels", but to my knowledge they did not actually internally fit them out to the point that they were identical to an actual production unit.

Correct. The test barrels are just naked CFRP structure, no systems.

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 69):
Tier-1 suppliers won't get paid for any shipments before certification of the airplane. You can take contractual details like that from some suppliers' SEC filings.

Good investigative work! Now that's some serious risk sharing...I guess if their necks are out that far, they really have an incentive to get it right.

Tom.
 
swallow
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:23 am

RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:15 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 64):
Do you have a reference for that? There was much discussion about what RR would do during the period of inactivity, but no conclusions as to what they would actually do

Quote: 'At the time of Airbus's announcement of the A380 delay, R-R had built 27 engines, and it has used the intervening period to upgrade these early units to the latest standard before delivery'

Quote: 'The delay has given us the opportunity to get an enhanced level of maturity. The engine is the most mature Trent ever at entry into service'

Source: http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...into-a-launch-groove-for-a380.html
The grass is greener where you water it
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: 787: Alenia Suspending Shipments

Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:45 pm

Quoting Swallow (Reply 70):
Quote: 'At the time of Airbus's announcement of the A380 delay, R-R had built 27 engines, and it has used the intervening period to upgrade these early units to the latest standard before delivery'

Thanks for that. It looks as if changes are minor so far, but they have some more significant changes planned.

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