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convair880mfan
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2021 12:33 am

Innovations created by one airliner manufacturer that were later adopted by another airliner manufacturer?

Sat Sep 04, 2021 4:19 pm

Do commercial aircraft manufacturers borrow design innovations from each other and if so what are some examples of this? Or is it the case perhaps that each manufacturer comes up with similar ideas on their own?

I notice that on later models of the MD-11, the outboard flaps have canoe type fairings a bit similar to Boeing aircraft designed after the 707. From this site I have learned that MD jetliners have flap hinges.

I wonder how much industrial espionage occurs in the commercial aircraft industry?

Thanks for any insights you can share.
 
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DL_Mech
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 7:48 am

Re: Innovations created by one airliner manufacturer that were later adopted by another airliner manufacturer?

Sat Sep 04, 2021 7:22 pm

These come to mind:



 
Lpbri
Posts: 289
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:18 pm

Re: Innovations created by one airliner manufacturer that were later adopted by another airliner manufacturer?

Sat Sep 04, 2021 7:58 pm

Not really. Manufacturers have a “not invented here” mentality.
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: Innovations created by one airliner manufacturer that were later adopted by another airliner manufacturer?

Sat Sep 04, 2021 11:01 pm

Lpbri wrote:
Not really. Manufacturers have a “not invented here” mentality.


That’s not correct. The manufacturer I work for has certainly made some big mistakes in the recent past, but in general we do what we think is best for both safety and the business. We don’t say, “gee we aren’t going to incorporate that feature on an airplane because Airbus already has it.”
 
hitower3
Posts: 248
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:55 am

Re: Innovations created by one airliner manufacturer that were later adopted by another airliner manufacturer?

Wed Sep 08, 2021 9:03 am

As long as patents don't get into the way...
 
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ITMercure
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Re: Innovations created by one airliner manufacturer that were later adopted by another airliner manufacturer?

Wed Sep 08, 2021 11:37 am

These come to mind:


The VC-10 featured sliding doors well before the Airbus A300B.
 
extender
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Re: Innovations created by one airliner manufacturer that were later adopted by another airliner manufacturer?

Wed Sep 08, 2021 2:28 pm

Winglets, perhaps?

I wish Airbus would follow with a comprehensive process index like Boeing has. Airbus repair/overhaul processes are a joke, like cadmium plating for example.
 
LH707330
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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 pm

Re: Innovations created by one airliner manufacturer that were later adopted by another airliner manufacturer?

Wed Sep 08, 2021 4:31 pm

There are a lot of things that one OEM does that another adopts. In many cases, all understand the merits of an innovation, but there's disagreement about how or when to go and build it based on maturity and cost. Some examples:

Underslung podded engines: pioneered by the 707, later adopted as industry standard because it was the best mix of safety, economy, and access.
Composites: lighter structure, less corrosion, but more finicky. As it matured, more structures were built from them, but everyone knew by the 1980s that they had potential once matured.
FBW: once computers got smart enough, the big OEMs adopted it, with A leading the field on the 320.
Winglets: known about since the 1970s or earlier, they started showing up in the 80s/90s on the 744/340/MD11 once the OEMs figured they were worth it. On all 3 of those designs, there were other constraints at play as well.

Some of the more trivial differences persist, like everyone's favorite yoke vs joystick discussion, but the major areas seem to be driven mostly by engineering decisions. Occasionally you'll see patent workarounds like the APB winglet with the circular radius, and A coming along with "something totally different that's got an elliptical radius," and some lawyers make money on those discussions.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Innovations created by one airliner manufacturer that were later adopted by another airliner manufacturer?

Wed Sep 08, 2021 5:41 pm

Sometimes manufacturers learn a lesson & iterate on a feature. For example AF447 perhaps influencing Gulfstream's active side sticks in G500/G600 around 5 years later. In any case, it is probably an Airbus influenced design, both positively and in terms of the change.

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