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Revelation
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A321XLR Integration Challenges

Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:06 am

Interesting article at https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... nt-459100/

A321XLR is a great improvement to an already wildly successful product family, but it brings with it some complications.

An overview:

Airbus is striving to ensure that introduction of the new A321XLR does not further complicate a production flow which has already been experiencing hitches as a result of previous substantial modifications to the A321neo.

Some details:

Airbus is facing this difficulty as it seeks to ease production bottlenecks with the A321neo while increasing output to 60 A320-family aircraft per month.

This has been complicated by the development of the reconfigured A321neo fuselage as well as the long-range A321LR version, which requires more complex installations as a result of switches in single-aisle operational deployment away from short-haul routes.

Airbus chief operating officer Michael Schoellhorn tells FlightGlobal that these adaptations effectively amount to 30% more work on the A321neo, all of which has to be aligned with production takt times and other considerations.

Basically, it's a challenge to fit in all this extra work on the same lines making the smaller and less complicated models at the same time as you try to increase the production rate.

Schoellhorn admits the delivery situation for the A321neo is "not going to be stellar this year" but he is confident that the airframer will have a stable operation in 2020.

"Single-aisles were designed in 2D," he says. "You can't go back and redo it all."

But Airbus is using "targeted" and "surgical" techniques through its shift to a digital design, manufacturing and services strategy to address "pain points", he states.

Goodness, is he suggesting technology has moved on since 1988? Say it isn't so! :biggrin:

Integrating the fuel tank and wing trailing edge enhancements into a 2D partially digitized world may be more of a challenge than some presume.

Regardless, the work will get done, but I'm sure there will be some challenges along the way.

Customers wanting too much of your product is a classy problem to have.
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Amiga500
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Re: A321XLR Integration Challenges

Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:34 am

Yeah, its not a new problem in the industry..

I remember doing work on the BAe 146. No two aircraft were the same. So there would be all this analysis and build work done based on CATIA (supposedly from the drawings), come along to fit it and find that it was nowhere close to size, then on the next aircraft your fancy new doohickeys and widgets were out by a similar amount in the other direction!

I suppose with bigger production runs, the A32x (and 737) will have much less variance than a relatively artisan construction (like 146) - but its still something that needs to be appreciated.
 
T4thH
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Re: A321XLR Integration Challenges

Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:09 pm

Just remind, Airbus has now still three new A321 programs running in parallel.
A321 Neo
A321 Neo CabinFlex System
A321 LR

It seems the CabinFlex is the issue, because of this, there are many changes, including all vendors have to provide complete new cabin systems including complete new lavatories e.g. And there are mayor changes in the back of the fuselage regarding the modified bulkhead.
In comparison with the LR changes, this is minor. But together wilth all other changes in parallel, you get also in trouble.

On the same lines, they have now
A319 ceo (only few left)
A320 ceo (only few left)
A320 neo standard
A321 ceo standard (and will go on till 2021 regarding the ongoing Delta order)
A321 neo standard
A321 neo CabinFlex
A321 neo LR (regular only ordered as CabinFlex).

They have already stated, that they expect everone will now order only A321 Neo CabinFlex design. But they will not stop, you can also later on still order the standard cabin design.

Sorry, to say this, but this is highest level stupidity. To simplify the production, the production, I would announce "last date of order of A321 standard cabin design on 31-Dec-2019 and end of the story. Question is, is it possible (regarding ongoing Options and purchase rights) or are than the airlins/lessors ble to cancel them.
I just remeber even in last year, some A320 family ceos have been delivered without winglets (as ordered so).

Airbus has many different A320 family production lines worldwide; they have to further reduce the number of different types in production per line.
 
T4thH
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Re: A321XLR Integration Challenges

Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:00 pm

I have just identified a big bug, too late to edit bit any more,
In comparison with the LR changes, this is minor. But together wilth all other changes in parallel, you get also in trouble.


Correct: In comparison of the CabinFlex, the LR changes are minor.
 
RalXWB
Posts: 526
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Re: A321XLR Integration Challenges

Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:09 pm

If I remember correctly, the Cabin Flex configuration ACF will become standard in 2020...
 
Varsity1
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Re: A321XLR Integration Challenges

Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:23 pm

Just goes to show there is no competition in this marketplace. Both manufacturers are sold out for half a decade and one product isn't even flying.
 
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FabDiva
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Re: A321XLR Integration Challenges

Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:30 pm

Didn't Boeing have 2 or 3 cabin options on the 737NG until relatively recently
 
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Re: A321XLR Integration Challenges

Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:35 pm

T4thH wrote:
Just remind, Airbus has now still three new A321 programs running in parallel.
A321 Neo
A321 Neo CabinFlex System
A321 LR

It seems the CabinFlex is the issue, because of this, there are many changes, including all vendors have to provide complete new cabin systems including complete new lavatories e.g. And there are mayor changes in the back of the fuselage regarding the modified bulkhead.
In comparison with the LR changes, this is minor. But together wilth all other changes in parallel, you get also in trouble.

On the same lines, they have now
A319 ceo (only few left)
A320 ceo (only few left)
A320 neo standard
A321 ceo standard (and will go on till 2021 regarding the ongoing Delta order)
A321 neo standard
A321 neo CabinFlex
A321 neo LR (regular only ordered as CabinFlex).

They have already stated, that they expect everone will now order only A321 Neo CabinFlex design. But they will not stop, you can also later on still order the standard cabin design.

Sorry, to say this, but this is highest level stupidity. To simplify the production, the production, I would announce "last date of order of A321 standard cabin design on 31-Dec-2019 and end of the story. Question is, is it possible (regarding ongoing Options and purchase rights) or are than the airlins/lessors ble to cancel them.
I just remeber even in last year, some A320 family ceos have been delivered without winglets (as ordered so).

Airbus has many different A320 family production lines worldwide; they have to further reduce the number of different types in production per line.

Interesting list.

Looks like we should list the transition to "A320 Airspace" in 2020 ( ref: https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-r ... erior.html ) as a consideration as well.
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flyingclrs727
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Re: A321XLR Integration Challenges

Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:46 pm

Isn't the main difference between the LR and XLR, that instead of 3 ACT's, there is one permanent tank that can't be removed but stores morr fuel?
 
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Re: A321XLR Integration Challenges

Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:55 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
Isn't the main difference between the LR and XLR, that instead of 3 ACT's, there is one permanent tank that can't be removed but stores morr fuel?

Yes, it has the permanent tank, plus different flaps, plus perhaps some stronger structural elements needed to get the additional 4 tonnes of MTOW.

The article is making the point that the different family members are diverging over time (A321 wing is already different from other family members, no other model will get the new tank, etc) and accommodating this has its (manageable) challenges especially when you are also increasing the overall production rate across all models.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
Bricktop
Posts: 1518
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:04 am

Re: A321XLR Integration Challenges

Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:37 pm

Sales overwhelming capability to deliver is not a new problem. Delivering at a profit adds another nasty wrinkle. They will get there though, but there's sure to be some pain in the interim. There's more to the game than whose backlog is bigger.
 
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Starlionblue
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Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: A321XLR Integration Challenges

Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:20 am

T4thH wrote:
Just remind, Airbus has now still three new A321 programs running in parallel.
A321 Neo
A321 Neo CabinFlex System
A321 LR

It seems the CabinFlex is the issue, because of this, there are many changes, including all vendors have to provide complete new cabin systems including complete new lavatories e.g. And there are mayor changes in the back of the fuselage regarding the modified bulkhead.
In comparison with the LR changes, this is minor. But together wilth all other changes in parallel, you get also in trouble.

On the same lines, they have now
A319 ceo (only few left)
A320 ceo (only few left)
A320 neo standard
A321 ceo standard (and will go on till 2021 regarding the ongoing Delta order)
A321 neo standard
A321 neo CabinFlex
A321 neo LR (regular only ordered as CabinFlex).

They have already stated, that they expect everone will now order only A321 Neo CabinFlex design. But they will not stop, you can also later on still order the standard cabin design.

Sorry, to say this, but this is highest level stupidity. To simplify the production, the production, I would announce "last date of order of A321 standard cabin design on 31-Dec-2019 and end of the story. Question is, is it possible (regarding ongoing Options and purchase rights) or are than the airlins/lessors ble to cancel them.
I just remeber even in last year, some A320 family ceos have been delivered without winglets (as ordered so).

Airbus has many different A320 family production lines worldwide; they have to further reduce the number of different types in production per line.


Overlapping version in airliner production is a relatively common practice. An existing customer with ongoing doesn't want to be forced to support a new model in their fleet.

As an example, the 737-200 was produced until 1988, seven years after the start of production of the 737 Classic in 1981.
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