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Revelation
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:15 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
Polot wrote:
I don't know why anyone is throwing around $20 billion development costs for the 797, that is an absurdly high number. That would make the plane more expensive than the A350 program by several billion dollars.


Perhaps because the 787 did cost over 25 billion USD to develop.

Perhaps not, because that $25B involved so many things that really weren't "development" such as buying out Vought and the Vought-Alenia joint venture at KCHS. 787 paid for going up the learning curve on large scale composite fuselage and wing construction. It also included developing an entirely new system architecture ("more electric") from scratch. 797 will highly leverage the 787 technology that was developed at great cost. It will also leverage the 777x wing factory which we know is much larger than needed for 777x. 797 will not be a $20B program, IMO.
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enzo011
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:29 pm

Polot wrote:
I don't know why anyone is throwing around $20 billion development costs for the 797, that is an absurdly high number. That would make the plane more expensive than the A350 program by several billion dollars.



What was the last clean sheet program that Boeing delivered close to projected cost? Factor in the cost ballooning on the 748 program and the 767 tanker program adding cost as well, why should we have any confidence that they can be on budget with a new program?
 
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Polot
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:31 pm

enzo011 wrote:
Polot wrote:
I don't know why anyone is throwing around $20 billion development costs for the 797, that is an absurdly high number. That would make the plane more expensive than the A350 program by several billion dollars.



What was the last clean sheet program that Boeing delivered close to projected cost? Factor in the cost ballooning on the 748 program and the 767 tanker program adding cost as well, why should we have any confidence that they can be on budget with a new program?

People once had the same attitude towards Airbus when it came to the A350 program (rough A340NG EIS, A380 issues, A400M issues...)
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:45 pm

enzo011 wrote:
Polot wrote:
I don't know why anyone is throwing around $20 billion development costs for the 797, that is an absurdly high number. That would make the plane more expensive than the A350 program by several billion dollars.

What was the last clean sheet program that Boeing delivered close to projected cost? Factor in the cost ballooning on the 748 program and the 767 tanker program adding cost as well, why should we have any confidence that they can be on budget with a new program?

"Why should we have any confidence that they can be on budget with a new program" is a totally different question than "why would 797 be more expensive to develop than A350".

I think the 797/A350 comparison is not too far off. A380 took the big hits in developing a lot of the technology and a lot of the facilities used for A350. 797 actually has less to develop because I think it will leverage more from the 787 program than A350 did from A380 (A350 had to develop CFRP panel technology), and 797 will take great advantage of 777x because of the fact that 777x has built an all new wing factory and in the process is learning about how to re-use 787 wing technology.
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keesje
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:37 pm

I would not be surprized if Boeing is a bit conservative on the 797. Using, 787, 777X and MAX technology. Most efficiency is to be gained from engines anyway. Providing enough space for some high BPR engines now and after 2030 is key.

Long term MRO efficiencies could also drive design and material choice. If there is no direct competition and the product life cycle scheduled at 25 years, lower investment & risk lead to better ROI earlier.

Back to topic, last week I talked to Boeing suppliers and this NMA seems a go. Airbus is no doubt also going into overdrive. Smart communication towards customers, the supply chain and investors is probably increasingly centrally coordinated from now on.

Looking forward to Farnborough.
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Planeflyer
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:47 pm

Good info, thanks Keesje
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:16 pm

keesje wrote:
I would not be surprized if Boeing is a bit conservative on the 797. Using, 787, 777X and MAX technology. Most efficiency is to be gained from engines anyway. Providing enough space for some high BPR engines now and after 2030 is key.

Long term MRO efficiencies could also drive design and material choice. If there is no direct competition and the product life cycle scheduled at 25 years, lower investment & risk lead to better ROI earlier.

Back to topic, last week I talked to Boeing suppliers and this NMA seems a go. Airbus is no doubt also going into overdrive. Smart communication towards customers, the supply chain and investors is probably increasingly centrally coordinated from now on.

Looking forward to Farnborough.

Pretty ironic that you'd be the one to 'out' such information on a.net, but in any case, I like it! :biggrin:
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astuteman
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:21 pm

Revelation wrote:
797 actually has less to develop because I think it will leverage more from the 787 program than A350 did from A380 (A350 had to develop CFRP panel technology), and 797 will take great advantage of 777x because of the fact that 777x has built an all new wing factory and in the process is learning about how to re-use 787 wing technology.


Where do you think the A350 CFRP panel technology was developed from? As a tip I'll offer a reminder that there is more CFRP in an A380 than in a 787.
And most of it is concentrated in one particular part of the plane. In panel form :)

Rgds
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:25 pm

Revelation wrote:
keesje wrote:
I would not be surprized if Boeing is a bit conservative on the 797. Using, 787, 777X and MAX technology. Most efficiency is to be gained from engines anyway. Providing enough space for some high BPR engines now and after 2030 is key.

Long term MRO efficiencies could also drive design and material choice. If there is no direct competition and the product life cycle scheduled at 25 years, lower investment & risk lead to better ROI earlier.

Back to topic, last week I talked to Boeing suppliers and this NMA seems a go. Airbus is no doubt also going into overdrive. Smart communication towards customers, the supply chain and investors is probably increasingly centrally coordinated from now on.

Looking forward to Farnborough.

Pretty ironic that you'd be the one to 'out' such information on a.net, but in any case, I like it! :biggrin:


A Farnborough NMA paunch would be interesting and fun. It would have been even more fun if an A321plus launch was made at the same time, but it doesn’t sound like that will happen
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:29 pm

astuteman wrote:
Revelation wrote:
797 actually has less to develop because I think it will leverage more from the 787 program than A350 did from A380 (A350 had to develop CFRP panel technology), and 797 will take great advantage of 777x because of the fact that 777x has built an all new wing factory and in the process is learning about how to re-use 787 wing technology.


Where do you think the A350 CFRP panel technology was developed from? As a tip I'll offer a reminder that there is more CFRP in an A380 than in a 787.
And most of it is concentrated in one particular part of the plane. In panel form :)

Rgds


I cannot say for sure... but, that may be moot if Boeing has figured out how to build CFRP cylinders cheaper than panels on frames... That would be an area that Airbus has yet to do a learning curve on.

We will have to see what Boeing actually proposes and at what cost.

Respectfully,
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:45 pm

I remember when people used to lash out that the A321NEO/LR as being a paper plane and would blow their tops when anyone would speculate about what the airplane could potentially do.

Strangely, these same people have no problem waxing lyrical about the NMA (which is even more non-existent than the above version of the A321) to the point that the plane is allegedly so good it's already forcing Airbus to re-evaluate their plans and it's not even reached design freeze yet! Despite the fact that this news is really just Airbus deciding to focus on producing more of the plane that's moved them from a near even market split to what is essentially now 60-40.The American fanboys really are funny.
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:03 pm

crimsonchin wrote:
I remember when people used to lash out that the A321NEO/LR as being a paper plane and would blow their tops when anyone would speculate about what the airplane could potentially do.

Strangely, these same people have no problem waxing lyrical about the NMA (which is even more non-existent than the above version of the A321) to the point that the plane is allegedly so good it's already forcing Airbus to re-evaluate their plans and it's not even reached design freeze yet! Despite the fact that this news is really just Airbus deciding to focus on producing more of the plane that's moved them from a near even market split to what is essentially now 60-40.The American fanboys really are funny.


Guilty as charged. I underestimated how much range that Airbus could get out of a 7,000lbs MTOW increase.

There were some people posting that an A322 and A323 which would beat the NMA to the market would render the Boeing offering a failure. At first glance it appears that there aware just as many posts about the A321 and potential derivatives as there are about the 797 proposal in the 797 development thread. Fanboyism goes both ways.
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:28 am

2175301 wrote:
astuteman wrote:
Revelation wrote:
797 actually has less to develop because I think it will leverage more from the 787 program than A350 did from A380 (A350 had to develop CFRP panel technology), and 797 will take great advantage of 777x because of the fact that 777x has built an all new wing factory and in the process is learning about how to re-use 787 wing technology.


Where do you think the A350 CFRP panel technology was developed from? As a tip I'll offer a reminder that there is more CFRP in an A380 than in a 787.
And most of it is concentrated in one particular part of the plane. In panel form :)

Rgds


I cannot say for sure... but, that may be moot if Boeing has figured out how to build CFRP cylinders cheaper than panels on frames... That would be an area that Airbus has yet to do a learning curve on.

We will have to see what Boeing actually proposes and at what cost.

Respectfully,


Whatever Boeing have or haven't learned in terms of the cost of building barrels versus the cost of the panels on the A350, it will be absolute noise in the grand scheme of the costs and producability of an aircraft. It just will. This seems to be another drug like rush that people are fixating on again of late.

For clarity, I'm actually a fan of the CFRP barrels - they are how I would build a plane - I like anything that reduces parts count.

But my vocation for that last quarter of a century has been manufacturing strategy - the top end of ME, and very much focussed on how the overall costs for a product summate along the entire value system, including labour, materials, variable overheads, fixed overheads, and how they relate to the P+L.
The bare barrels, or panels, are way too small a part of the overall aggregated cost for a slight advantage to mean anything meaningful to the overall product cost.
Be clear that there is no technology difference between the A350 CFRP panels and the 787 CRP barrels - only geometry.

And I absolutely don't buy that it has taken 650 deliveries, plus the 100 or so frames in the production cycle for Boeing to finally make a step shift in the cost of barrel manufacture that they feel confident enough to pass into future orders.
2018 will be the 5th year of 3 figure deliveries. The big learning curve gains on the barrels will have been made nearly half a decade ago, IMO.

I think it undersells Boeing too when people fixate on the barrels as the primary difference that Boeing have in their pocket to sell forward on the MOM.
They will only be one of a whole suite of aggressive cost-cutting activities that Boeing will engage in across that said value system.

Rgds
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:25 am

Revelation wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
I don't consider in misinformation to have the people who design aircraft help accelerate production. They know what can and cannot be changed and the cost to recertify an assembly. Every aerospace manufacturer does this.

Interesting. In the space I work (basically data communication equipment) the people who do logical (software and hardware) design and the people who do physical (environmental and manufacturing) design are almost always separate groups of people.


I started out as a hardware guy. Though I also was an early adopter for programmable hardware ( PLD, GateArray,FPGA, ... ).

My experience is that the average programming guy is regularly overtasked to do "hardware near" programming.
After a couple of crashlandings with the regular setup ( I do the hardware, super C programmer does the driver )
I usually wrote the driving software ( and often the full data aquisiton package too ) myself.
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keesje
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:57 am

Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Amazing how an unconfirmed rumour from unnamed sources grows into a strategic shift in a day.

Welcome to 2018’s copy, source and next news culture.
Last edited by keesje on Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:58 am

lightsaber wrote:
I have worked mostly R&D my whole career. But every so often I work a few months optimizing production and then go back to R&D now knowing better ways to design stuff to be made.

I don't consider in misinformation to have the people who design aircraft help accelerate production. They know what can and cannot be changed and the cost to recertify an assembly. Every aerospace manufacturer does this.

You don't change the number of engineers on a project, you shift the focus.


Picking up late on this, my friend, I would go further.
Someone has to have what is known in manufacturing as "Authority" over the configuration of the product in terms of meeting its requirements, in terms of performance and cost, but also in terms of regulatory approval.
The people who always have that authority are the designers who designed the product to satisfy those requirements.

They frequently (and in my experience almost always in aerospace) delegate that Authority through a letter of delegated authority to the Manufacturing Engineering leadership, who then execute custodianship of the delivery of those requirement throughout the build process, on their behalf.

For approaching 3 decades I have been first, a manager, and for the latter 2 decades, an executive executing control (at growing levels of seniority) over the manufacturing strategy, which not only sets out to deliver the design requirements, but also informs the designers of the requirements the Build/Manufacturing Strategy has of the design to enable it to deliver the cost and schedule requirements that said strategy has been designed to deliver.
I currently execute authority over the build of my product with delegated authority conferred on me by the Engineering Director, via the Operations Director

Not only is it impossible to engineer changes to the manufacturing strategy/process without design input, but that input is also very highly desirable as a means of educating the designers in the challenges that the build process faces, and also educating the builders in the constraints that the designers operate under.

So no - there's nothing remotely devious about shifting the focus of some designers from product development to "lineside support".
Every manufacturer will do this as required by the circumstances.

I have a personal pet hate by the way which I will share, and that is using the word "engineer" when we invariably are referring to "designers".
Engineers come in a vast array of disciplines.
I have been an engineer all my working life (38 years).
I was in a design department for the first c. 6-7 years and then moved into project management on a huge programme that I suppose you could describe as "3-pronged" before moving into manufacturing management first in final integration, then back upstream into structural assembly, and finally into product testing and commissioning (which on my product is about as fascinating as it gets :) ).
During that time this "whole process" experience led me more and more into Manufacturing Strategy, and more recently, Manufacturing Authority.
But I've always been an engineer.

Sorry about the rant.
There will be many on here that don't understand that they are missing a key differentiation when the use the term loosely.
I know you will know better :)

Rgds
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:24 am

astuteman wrote:
2175301 wrote:
astuteman wrote:

Where do you think the A350 CFRP panel technology was developed from? As a tip I'll offer a reminder that there is more CFRP in an A380 than in a 787.
And most of it is concentrated in one particular part of the plane. In panel form :)

Rgds


I cannot say for sure... but, that may be moot if Boeing has figured out how to build CFRP cylinders cheaper than panels on frames... That would be an area that Airbus has yet to do a learning curve on.

We will have to see what Boeing actually proposes and at what cost.

Respectfully,


Whatever Boeing have or haven't learned in terms of the cost of building barrels versus the cost of the panels on the A350, it will be absolute noise in the grand scheme of the costs and producability of an aircraft. It just will. This seems to be another drug like rush that people are fixating on again of late.

For clarity, I'm actually a fan of the CFRP barrels - they are how I would build a plane - I like anything that reduces parts count.

But my vocation for that last quarter of a century has been manufacturing strategy - the top end of ME, and very much focussed on how the overall costs for a product summate along the entire value system, including labour, materials, variable overheads, fixed overheads, and how they relate to the P+L.
The bare barrels, or panels, are way too small a part of the overall aggregated cost for a slight advantage to mean anything meaningful to the overall product cost.
Be clear that there is no technology difference between the A350 CFRP panels and the 787 CRP barrels - only geometry.

And I absolutely don't buy that it has taken 650 deliveries, plus the 100 or so frames in the production cycle for Boeing to finally make a step shift in the cost of barrel manufacture that they feel confident enough to pass into future orders.
2018 will be the 5th year of 3 figure deliveries. The big learning curve gains on the barrels will have been made nearly half a decade ago, IMO.

I think it undersells Boeing too when people fixate on the barrels as the primary difference that Boeing have in their pocket to sell forward on the MOM.
They will only be one of a whole suite of aggressive cost-cutting activities that Boeing will engage in across that said value system.

Rgds


Austutman: I agree that the potential on barrels is only part - and perhaps a small part - of the overall cost reduction. On the other hand - while I do agree that the steepest learning curve on CFRP barrels would have in the first 100 or so frames; that additional lessons - and at times significant lessons - do occur later on.

My personal experience is with maintaining, operating, and modifying equipment that was built to run for 40-60 years (and I have been doing that for about 4 decades). I has been absolutely stunning to see the changes that have been introduced 5, 10, 20, and even 30 years later on equipment; and even something as basic and supposedly well understood as a centrifugal pump... A new design replacement looks nothing like the original several decades previous, even if the impeller and rotational speed is essentially the same.

It would not surprise me if at the 300-400 frame point that Boeing did indeed figure something significant about barrel construction that the had not figured out in the first 100 frames or so (and perhaps some of that is from monitoring degradation rates in early 787's).

Overall you are correct it's a small piece of the puzzel. But, it could be strtegically an important piece as it would buy Boeing in the range of 5 years of market advantage - even if its only a $ Million per aircraft as Airbus would have to go through a similar learning curve in order to catch up.

If what we are calling the 797 is indeed introduced as CFRP barrel construction - you can bet that Boeing has figured something out that cannot likely be matched by panel on frame for production cost. If it's panels on frame, then they have not.

I'm just open to that possibility - and even see it as a potential realisitic possibility. It would make that part of the the investment into the 787 pay off hugely...

Another part of the long term Boeing Strategy has been the investment into and acquisition of capabilities to allow them to build another aircraft. The wing factory is set up to produce more wings (a small incremental cost to construct), land has already been acquired at places, companies have already been purchased with specific technology. They have been planning this a long time and making investments up front that will not be directly charged to the 797 (or whatever) program - that enable the program to progress cost effectively. It's not like the 787 where they almost started from zero in comparison as far as capabilities.

I'm going to be real interested in their final configuration, what they see as the estimated program cost (and they have put a lot of effort into that up front to get it fairly solid), and how it is initially priced. That will tell us a lot that we don't know.

Respectfully,
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:17 pm

astuteman wrote:
Revelation wrote:
797 actually has less to develop because I think it will leverage more from the 787 program than A350 did from A380 (A350 had to develop CFRP panel technology), and 797 will take great advantage of 777x because of the fact that 777x has built an all new wing factory and in the process is learning about how to re-use 787 wing technology.


Where do you think the A350 CFRP panel technology was developed from? As a tip I'll offer a reminder that there is more CFRP in an A380 than in a 787.
And most of it is concentrated in one particular part of the plane. In panel form :)

Thanks for pointing out that A380 has an impressive amount of CFRP tech in it:

Image

One other ref says the un-pressurized part of the rear of the aircraft (rear fuse and tail cone) are of panel construction.

I'm sure A350 learned a lot from A380 since A380 did the trickiest bits in CFRP.

The point I was trying to make was that 797 will learn a lot from 787 and it will be a much smaller development effort than 787 itself was. In retrospect I should not have used the A350 example the way I did. Instead, I should have said 797 will learn a lot from 787 just like A350 learned a lot from A380. But the main point still stands: I don't think 797 will be as big an effort as 787 turned out to be, for many different reasons.
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:27 pm

keesje wrote:
Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Amazing how an unconfirmed rumour from unnamed sources grows into a strategic shift in a day.

Welcome to 2018’s copy, source and next news culture.

Reply #78 gives us a source named Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Eric Schulz.

“We cannot fix everything at the same time,” Airbus chief commercial officer Eric Schulz said, referring to the in-service issues, the possible production rate increases and potential product development. Airbus’ management has come to the conclusion that “we need to deliver what we committed to first” before moving on to an A320neo family upgrade.

Welcome to 2018 where everyone cries 'fake news' the instant they hear something that doesn't fit their own personal narrative.

It's pretty clear that some of the sources various people here love to hate (Leeham/Hamilton, Bloomberg, Reuters) have had a remarkably good run of form lately when it comes to breaking news. Sure, some small aspect of their report might be off, but in general the main story has been right.
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Newbiepilot
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:03 pm

Revelation wrote:
keesje wrote:
Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Amazing how an unconfirmed rumour from unnamed sources grows into a strategic shift in a day.

Welcome to 2018’s copy, source and next news culture.

Reply #78 gives us a source named Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Eric Schulz.

“We cannot fix everything at the same time,” Airbus chief commercial officer Eric Schulz said, referring to the in-service issues, the possible production rate increases and potential product development. Airbus’ management has come to the conclusion that “we need to deliver what we committed to first” before moving on to an A320neo family upgrade.

Welcome to 2018 where everyone cries 'fake news' the instant they hear something that doesn't fit their own personal narrative.

It's pretty clear that some of the sources various people here love to hate (Leeham/Hamilton, Bloomberg, Reuters) have had a remarkably good run of form lately when it comes to breaking news. Sure, some small aspect of their report might be off, but in general the main story has been right.


Keesje must have missed that post. It isn’t fake news when the executives at Airbus have stated the intention to focus on production instead of a family upgrade. The funny thing is that some on this forum was already projecting that the A322 would be better than a 797.

I think some on this forum were anticipating or hoping an A320plus launch at farnborough in this thread viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1374685&hilit=A322+Keesje&start=1600 :

keesje wrote:

I wonder what Boeings responds would be if Airbus launches a superior 200 seater and racks up a thousands orders/conversions for it. Say at Farnborough 2018

Image
 
astuteman
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:24 pm

2175301 wrote:
Overall you are correct it's a small piece of the puzzel. But, it could be strtegically an important piece as it would buy Boeing in the range of 5 years of market advantage - even if its only a $ Million per aircraft as Airbus would have to go through a similar learning curve in order to catch up.

If what we are calling the 797 is indeed introduced as CFRP barrel construction - you can bet that Boeing has figured something out that cannot likely be matched by panel on frame for production cost. If it's panels on frame, then they have not.

I'm just open to that possibility - and even see it as a potential realisitic possibility. It would make that part of the the investment into the 787 pay off hugely...


To be fair, I have no issue with keeping an open mind - it's clearly possible that there has been an improvement beyond learning curve in the barrel construction. But here's my issue.
The 787 has been produced since 2004 and delivered since 2011. By the launch of the A330NEO in 2014 they had delivered some 200 frames and were at 100 per year rate. Yet between the 2014 launch of the A330NEO and its October 2017 first flight, Airbus managed to sell 440 A330's of all types against 272 x 787's. (per wikipedia)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A330neo#Orders

Boeing could not leverage enough to smother the A330/NEO prior to 2018. However, in 2018 we see Boeing being way more aggressive with the 787

What has changed since 2017?..

1. The 787 has experienced a planned increase in its production rate up to 14 per month, improving both availability and cost.
2. Boeing have embarked on an intensive application of ALM to reduce the cost of titanium components by what they hope will be up to $3M per frame
3. Boeing are perceived to be undertaking an unprecedented approach to squeezing supply chain costs on the 787
4. the A330 NEO IS has been delayed by some 12 months, and this has made A330NEO contracts vulnerable to re-negotiation.

You look at all those factors I've listed, and then tell me it's more likely that Boeing have suddenly discovered some magic in the CFRP barrels at LN 700+ that makes them able to out-bid Airbus on the A330NEO in 2018 that they couldn't previously.
My apologies, but respectfully, Occam's razor is sharp for a very good reason.

IMO reasons 1 and 4 above - the considerable rate increase, and the vulnerability of the A330NEO contractually are the two biggest reasons we have seen Boeing getting very aggressive with price on the 787 in 2018.
Reasons 2 and 3 will be strong contributors to that process.
The thing with reasons 2 and 3 though is that they constitute normal business IMO for any worthy manufacturer.

Why is this important on this thread?

Because if we look at how the 787 factors read across into MOM vs an Airbus response based on the A320 we might see a slightly different picture emerging.

1. Production rate. I don't envy anyone going up against the A320 family (or 737) today in terms of cost when these frames are likely to passing 60 per month and upwards - the economies of scale are simply staggering

2. ALM - much has been made of Boeing's approach to ALM on the 787 - rightly so. Unfortunately most of us seem to have interpreted it as Boeing taking a lead of some sorts when it isn't. Something different is going on IMO, and it is a very, very important dynamic, in my view.

The best way to leverage advantage is to play to your strength. Boeing are clearly doing so with implementing ALM on the 787. They make great play of it.
You don't hear anything much at all about the implementation of ALM on the 737. I bet there is some, and I predict there will be more. But it seems that Boeing are focussing on the 787 as the priority.
What most people seem to have missed is that Airbus have gone to huge efforts to implement ALM on the A320 series in a big way. I don't know why its missed, because there is a fair amount of information out there about it. They are well down the track of replacing a large part of the TI components for cost, and have already turned some attention to the replacement of "lesser" parts for performance purposes. The obvious example of which is the "bionic bulkhead" which is the
standard cabin partition, but ALM reduces it from 75kg to 30kg. 4 of these partitions on an A321 reduces its weight by 180kg. They are not expensive items.

We hear some things on the A350, but not to the same extent. So why have Airbus focussed on the A320 first? Because it plays to their strength, of course.
Despite the intense competiton from the 737, and the huge ramp-up issues the NEO has, it is hard to avoid concluding that Airbus must be making some 14%-15% margin on the A320 series. Indeed in Q4 last year when they managed to get some of the many gliders to fly, this must have been nearer 16%-18%.
The Q4 2017 Airbus Commercial margin of c.11% didn't come from any of the other programmes - A380, A350, A330, did it?
It is my belief that if Pratt pull their finger out in 2018 the A320 will be approaching 20% margin by the end of the year.

And a thought for you. we have seen Boeing use the "dumping" argument in the USA, and I remain convinced that the threat of a dumping claim has been fundamental in the loss of the HA and AA A330NEO prospects, when Boeing are free to price so aggressively.
Yet Airbus can place big A320NEO contracts with impunity with US based customers. Because Boeing cannot exert enough pricing on so many frames to invoke a dumping claim when the A320 production costs are so low.

As for the other factors

3. Aggressive supply chain management. For every increase in the aggression shown by Boeing, I expect a like response from Airbus. This is not a sustainable competitive advantage. It has been posted on this forum that evidence of this has been observed by members from Airbus, but I can only assume it got lost in the 787 hype.

4. Contract delays. This is the only place I think the A320 is vulnerable, and indeed we saw QR order the MAX verbally citing issues with the NEO as a cause. I suspect that by the time MOM gets moving, these issues will be behind the A320.

I know that was a long response. I apologise.

But it outlines my reasons why I don't think MOM being produced with CFRP barrels will make much difference to its competitiveness with an A320 Plus, or plus-plus, provided Airbus can keep enough commoniality with the base A320 series to leverage economies of scale.

Revelation wrote:
The point I was trying to make was that 797 will learn a lot from 787 and it will be a much smaller development effort than 787 itself was. In retrospect I should not have used the A350 example the way I did. Instead, I should have said 797 will learn a lot from 787 just like A350 learned a lot from A380. But the main point still stands: I don't think 797 will be as big an effort as 787 turned out to be, for many different reasons.


I must agree completely. I think Boeing did most of the technology heavy lifting on the 787. I don't think they can afford to, or will be prepared to, make the MOM another moonshot. Anything they do will be incremental at best from the 787.

Rgds
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:43 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
Revelation wrote:
keesje wrote:
Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Amazing how an unconfirmed rumour from unnamed sources grows into a strategic shift in a day.

Welcome to 2018’s copy, source and next news culture.

Reply #78 gives us a source named Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Eric Schulz.

“We cannot fix everything at the same time,” Airbus chief commercial officer Eric Schulz said, referring to the in-service issues, the possible production rate increases and potential product development. Airbus’ management has come to the conclusion that “we need to deliver what we committed to first” before moving on to an A320neo family upgrade.

Welcome to 2018 where everyone cries 'fake news' the instant they hear something that doesn't fit their own personal narrative.

It's pretty clear that some of the sources various people here love to hate (Leeham/Hamilton, Bloomberg, Reuters) have had a remarkably good run of form lately when it comes to breaking news. Sure, some small aspect of their report might be off, but in general the main story has been right.


Keesje must have missed that post. It isn’t fake news when the executives at Airbus have stated the intention to focus on production instead of a family upgrade. The funny thing is that some on this forum was already projecting that the A322 would be better than a 797.


Well Newbiepilot, Revelation, hopefully Airbus can deliver to what they committed to first” before moving on to an A320neo family upgrade.
Unless fixing the engines takes more then 4-5 yrs of course. :shy:
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:50 pm

Revelation wrote:
But the main point still stands: I don't think 797 will be as big an effort as 787 turned out to be, for many different reasons.


I'm afraid I'd call that wishful thinking ; I see no good reason why that would be the case.
Your underlying argument is that the 797 would be to the 787 what the A350 was to the A380. But you miss a major difference : the A350 was launched and in detailled design even as the A380 was still in development. Basically, the same people who had just experienced hellish issues on the A380 and had to come up with imaginative solutions, were the same ones who were asked to start from scratch and avoid the issues altogether.
Additonnally, the same technological and integration solutions could be used with simpole improvements, as so little time had gone by.

In this 797 case, by the time actual design gets underway, there will be a nearly 10 year gap with the end of 787 full develoment (I do not count derivative design as equivalent to full development). And a 20 year gap since the 787 technology freeze.
In the meantime, most engineering staff would have moved on, inside of Boeing or outside. Especially as this is the USA, where the workforce is more volatile.
Even if no "all new gamechanging revolutionary" technological solutions are retained, local improvements and fine-tuning alone would lead to large differences with 787 techological solutions. And the integration solutions, i.e. how you tie all the different technologies together into a coherent airplane, will also be very different to the 787, due to the stated objective of drastically reducing production costs.
Oh and in addition to what Astuteman mentioned above, if Boeing had really succeeded in signifcantly reducing production costs on the 787, they would't be publically talking about figuring out new ways of working for the 797.



Back to the topic :
Keep in mind that the A320 was originally designed for a production run of a few hundred, at single-digit rates. Now those rates are multiplied by 10.
As an example of a concrete problem with that :
In case of a problem on the production line, engineers need to be called to locally diagnose the issue and modify the design.
With takt-times of, say, 20 hours, that leaves lots of time to call engineering and work the problem.
With takt times of 2 hours, you obviously need to completely change the design and/or the information exchange protocols. That requires work on organisations, information systems and local re-design work.

Alternatively the production line could simply be duplicated, to preserve higher takt-times ; but that requires large capital expenditure

Or you might try to prevent any issue, by keeping close ties with suppliers to work on improving logistics and quality, with a little assistance (and therefore, time & attention) from top management.

Whether engineering time, information systems, management focus or capital expenses, all of this competes with the requirements of a major development program.
Therefore ramp-up and new dev are much more interdependent that just "a few design engineers being re-assigned"

Another simple point : the top sales guy, top engineering guy and top management guy have changed in the last few months. The top top management guy is due to leave next year. It seems reasonable that a completely new management team would prefer to delay such a significant decision as a new development until they a/ know each other and b/ know the company and establish a strategy.

So internal considerations seem fully sufficient to explain the decision.
I don't really understand why the vague 797 idea has to be pulled into this discussion. I have not been around here lately, but just going through a couple of threads, it seems that by repeating the same discussions over and over again, this forum has convinced itself that the aerospace world revolves around a huge untapped market, and the soon-to-be new 797 that will cover it and force an answer from Airbus.
Meanwhile in the real world, the demand is concentrated around A320 and 787-9/A350-900 sized aircraft, and there is no tangible sign that a new market segment has popped up out of nowhere. The whole discussion only started 3 years ago because Boeing have no good option other than aiming for this space. But that is an internal Boeing strategic need, not a clear market demand that Airbus needs to respond to right now.
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:56 pm

keesje wrote:
Newbiepilot wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Reply #78 gives us a source named Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Eric Schulz.


Welcome to 2018 where everyone cries 'fake news' the instant they hear something that doesn't fit their own personal narrative.

It's pretty clear that some of the sources various people here love to hate (Leeham/Hamilton, Bloomberg, Reuters) have had a remarkably good run of form lately when it comes to breaking news. Sure, some small aspect of their report might be off, but in general the main story has been right.


Keesje must have missed that post. It isn’t fake news when the executives at Airbus have stated the intention to focus on production instead of a family upgrade. The funny thing is that some on this forum was already projecting that the A322 would be better than a 797.


Well Newbiepilot, Revelation, hopefully Airbus can deliver to what they committed to first” before moving on to an A320neo family upgrade.
Unless fixing the engines takes more then 4-5 yrs of course. :shy:


One day I expect the A320neo family to be upgraded. I also suspect Airbus has more challenges than just engine delays given these comments

The ramp-up is not going as well as hoped,” a person with knowledge of the supply chain said. Another said Airbus had declared industrial matters top priority amid engine shortages, calling off plans to show the A320neo-plus design to airlines

...

An internal appeal begins this week to boost recruitment of the company’s best talent for the A320-family ramp-up..


https://www.reuters.com/article/us-airb ... SKBN1HH1SS
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:17 pm

astuteman wrote:
However, in 2018 we see Boeing being way more aggressive with the 787

What has changed since 2017?..


As the whole discussion about 787 production costs seem to come from the agressive pricing for the HA and American deals, we might also have to mention the new tax legislation in the US. While it's far beyond my knowledge to even get interested in the datils of the law, I don't find it unreasonable to think that it had a positive impacts on these all-US deals. After all, both Boeing and major US airlines seemed happy about the legislation.

Also, in both cases the 787 was a better fit for the airlines. Amercian because they have a 787 fleet already, HA because they were originally looking for something a bit bigger than the A338, which they only got as a replacement for the A358.
So "agressive pricing" in this context may not necessarily mean "undercutting A330NEO prices". But merely coming down low enough that the extra value specific to these airlines made up for any purchase cost difference. So I'm a bit skeptical about all this talk of production costs suddenly coming down so spectacularly.

Overall, the 787 is a more complex, more integrated aircraft than the A330, compliant with a dozen years-worth of extra certification requirements. Apart from the fuselage barrels and a "digital" definition, there is no significant difference in the production systems, as both are based on snapping together fully equipped modular sections received from external production sites. I do not see how the 787 can inherently cost significantly less to produce than an A330. Just matching it should be hard enough.
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:48 pm

airmagnac wrote:
As an example of a concrete problem with that :
In case of a problem on the production line, engineers need to be called to locally diagnose the issue and modify the design.


I've heard that from Boeing "in case of issues we have an engineer down on the shop floor in minutes".

But that is not how you (should) build aircraft today.
All those issues are carefully fixed in the preparatory phase of production and work setup
when the tooling together with the workflow is designed and set up.
( Look at an Airbus plant: much more tooling small and large around.)
Afaics Airbus spends much more effort up front in "how to produce".

finally: A320 production expansion is done via adding parallel resources. today and for the A320 family there
are 8 FAL lines ( 2 in TLS, 4 in XFW, 1 each in TJN and BFM.
( not looked at how subsections are done. )
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:59 pm

WIederling wrote:
airmagnac wrote:
As an example of a concrete problem with that :
In case of a problem on the production line, engineers need to be called to locally diagnose the issue and modify the design.


I've heard that from Boeing "in case of issues we have an engineer down on the shop floor in minutes".

But that is not how you (should) build aircraft today.
All those issues are carefully fixed in the preparatory phase of production and work setup
when the tooling together with the workflow is designed and set up.
( Look at an Airbus plant: much more tooling small and large around.)
Afaics Airbus spends much more effort up front in "how to produce".. )


How did you come to your conclusion? I agree Airbus spends more effort up front, but they also have a much more complicated supply chain than the 737. I would be surprised if there were fewer issues in final assembly, but I would appreciate being educated by someone with more in-depth experience in Airbus manufacturing than me. I have seen plenty of comparisons based on anecdote, which are not particularly clear.

There are scholarly journal articles discussing the lean Boeing production system:

https://www.scribd.com/document/3628209 ... Operations

If you read through that article, it is fascinating what Boeing has done with their manufacturing system and processes. Are you aware of a comparison between The A320neo and 737MAX production systems?
Last edited by Newbiepilot on Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:21 pm

I think the point Revelation is trying to make is that the Boeing has to reinvent many wheels in order to implement the barrel design.

The relevant question is does the more intergrated structure more easily enable new designs.
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:47 pm

WIederling wrote:
I've heard that from Boeing "in case of issues we have an engineer down on the shop floor in minutes".

WIederling wrote:
All those issues are carefully fixed in the preparatory phase of production and work setup when the tooling together with the workflow is designed and set up.



To be fair, you are mixing 2 levels of detail here :
- "workflow design and set up" is a strategic problem, in which top management have to decide what kind of model they want to put in place : decentralized assembly of modules (Airbus, 787) vs centralized build in a single place (the old-fashioned way) ; static build, pulse lines, flow line... ; assemble complete fuselage then wings then cabin, or assemble wings to the center fuselage then the rest ; etc...
And once decided, the proper architects have to put in place the required infrastructure : assembly halls, jigs, tooling, flow control, information system...

- "in case of issues we have an engineer down on the shop floor in minutes" is more of an operational, day-to-day level, to deal with little mishaps : a part slightly out of tolerance, a tool that fell on the structure, a crack that doesn't look good, a bump sustained during transport...
For that you could indeed bring down a nengineering team for each problem, or have a kind of "level 1 engineering support" on-site for troubleshooting, or rely fully on delocalized engineering resources via an SAP workflow and lots of Excel, or an integrated data flow from a 3D scan on a smartphone directly into FEM tools with autmatic analysis (hey, why not, "digitalization" is the buzz these days !). Or any combination of the above. I had a focus on structures, but it's the same for systems.
FYI, Airbus has on-site engineering support, so they also will "have an engineer down on the shop floor in minutes"

Regarding the A320, the industrial concept and infrastructure is firmly in place, it is modern, scaleable (as you mention) and fairly efficient, and continuously improved.
The challenge with ramp-up is coping with the operational issues, which scale exponentially with production rate. And the consequences are directly visible to the customers in terms of non-quality and/or delays.


WIederling wrote:
Airbus spends much more effort up front in "how to produce".

Honestly, I'd say the big 2 never really spent huge dedicated, coordinated efforts in designing the complete aircraft up-front for efficient production. Some elementary parts may be designed with production costs in mind, as Lightsaber said. But the overall aircraft architecture ( the "tube-with-wings") is only defined for flight, with minimum drag & weight, and all the discussions that creates on a-net about cabin width, cross-sections and wing spans.
That's only changing now due to the unprecedented output rates, and unprecendented industrial accidents (A380 and 787, to keep it neutral !)
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:02 pm

airmagnac wrote:
Honestly, I'd say the big 2 never really spent huge dedicated, coordinated efforts in designing the complete aircraft up-front for efficient production. Some elementary parts may be designed with production costs in mind, as Lightsaber said. But the overall aircraft architecture ( the "tube-with-wings") is only defined for flight, with minimum drag & weight, and all the discussions that creates on a-net about cabin width, cross-sections and wing spans.)


I think Boeing is trying to change this with the 797. The airplane is sounding like it will be designed with the production system in mind. The 737 production system was completely overhauled 10-15 years ago around the airplane. The A320neo production system is quite complicated and political influence has impacted decisions around where parts are made and assembled resulting in added complexity.

A.net doesn’t spend much time talking about production systems. Instead the discussions usually revolve around cabin width and airplane price.
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:19 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
WIederling wrote:
airmagnac wrote:
As an example of a concrete problem with that :
In case of a problem on the production line, engineers need to be called to locally diagnose the issue and modify the design.


I've heard that from Boeing "in case of issues we have an engineer down on the shop floor in minutes".

But that is not how you (should) build aircraft today.
All those issues are carefully fixed in the preparatory phase of production and work setup
when the tooling together with the workflow is designed and set up.
( Look at an Airbus plant: much more tooling small and large around.)
Afaics Airbus spends much more effort up front in "how to produce".. )


How did you come to your conclusion? I agree Airbus spends more effort up front, but they also have a much more complicated supply chain than the 737. I would be surprised if there were fewer issues in final assembly, but I would appreciate being educated by someone with more in-depth experience in Airbus manufacturing than me. I have seen plenty of comparisons based on anecdote, which are not particularly clear.

There are scholarly journal articles discussing the lean Boeing production system:

https://www.scribd.com/document/3628209 ... Operations

If you read through that article, it is fascinating what Boeing has done with their manufacturing system and processes. Are you aware of a comparison between The A320neo and 737MAX production systems?


Can you please explain to me how the A320 supply chain is fundamentally more complex than that of the 737?
As far as I can tell every 737 starts life in Wichita, Kansas, and then undertakes a c. 2 500km train ride to Seattle.
(Really interesting video here :) )

http://www.spiritaero.com/media/video-w ... urney-737/

You would need to show that the VA/NVA ratio in terms of both time and cost along the whole value system were substantially different in order to demonstrate any advantage. I don't think you will be able to do that. I've never seen it published.

As far as the case study goes, it comes across as the sort of thing 1st year Man Eng students would write. It actually tells you very little about what Boeing actually did, relying more on regurgitating the expected outputs from certain acts, as described in the usual literary sources.
I did like the description of defining the overall value system at Boeing - absolutely fundamental.
Also the stats on final assembly were useful (and impressive), even if the reference point was 20 years ago, in 1999.
would have been nice to see the effect on the ratios as I suggested earlier.

Boeing unquestionably do loads of great Man Eng stuff. However, we shouldn't read into this great work by Boeing that Airbus in some way lag behind. They don't. I don't think they're ahead either.
The A320 has steadily gained market share in the same 20 years, and Airbus have made absolute shedloads on it, and continue to do so. The fact that they then piss it up against the wall on things like the A380 should not detract from this fact.

Rgds
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:35 pm

astuteman wrote:

Can you please explain to me how the A320 supply chain is fundamentally more complex than that of the 737?
As far as I can tell every 737 starts life in Wichita, Kansas, and then undertakes a c. 2 500km train ride to Seattle.
(Really interesting video here :) )

http://www.spiritaero.com/media/video-w ... urney-737/

You would need to show that the VA/NVA ratio in terms of both time and cost along the whole value system were substantially different in order to demonstrate any advantage. I don't think you will be able to do that. I've never seen it published.

As far as the case study goes, it comes across as the sort of thing 1st year Man Eng students would write. It actually tells you very little about what Boeing actually did, relying more on regurgitating the expected outputs from certain acts, as described in the usual literary sources.
I did like the description of defining the overall value system at Boeing - absolutely fundamental.
Also the stats on final assembly were useful (and impressive), even if the reference point was 20 years ago, in 1999.
would have been nice to see the effect on the ratios as I suggested earlier.

Boeing unquestionably do loads of great Man Eng stuff. However, we shouldn't read into this great work by Boeing that Airbus in some way lag behind. They don't. I don't think they're ahead either.
The A320 has steadily gained market share in the same 20 years, and Airbus have made absolute shedloads on it, and continue to do so. The fact that they then piss it up against the wall on things like the A380 should not detract from this fact.

Rgds


First off, it feels like you are signaling me out yet not bothered by Wiederling’s comment, which was entirely unsubstantiated.

WIederling wrote:

I've heard that from Boeing "in case of issues we have an engineer down on the shop floor in minutes".

But that is not how you (should) build aircraft today.
All those issues are carefully fixed in the preparatory phase of production and work setup
when the tooling together with the workflow is designed and set up.
( Look at an Airbus plant: much more tooling small and large around.)
Afaics Airbus spends much more effort up front in "how to produce".



This picture is why I think the A320neo Supply chain is more complex than the 737

Image

There is so much involved in production of modern airplanes. Engineering touches so many facets. This thread is about Airbus directing resources to support production instead of new derivatives. I am just trying to learn more about their intention. Wiederling is saying th we issues should be fixed in the predatory phase and work setup. I am confused by that and also by the statement that Airbus spends much more effort up front on “how to produce”. I haven’t seen any evidence of that
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:48 pm

astuteman wrote:
2175301 wrote:
astuteman wrote:

Where do you think the A350 CFRP panel technology was developed from? As a tip I'll offer a reminder that there is more CFRP in an A380 than in a 787.
And most of it is concentrated in one particular part of the plane. In panel form :)

Rgds


I cannot say for sure... but, that may be moot if Boeing has figured out how to build CFRP cylinders cheaper than panels on frames... That would be an area that Airbus has yet to do a learning curve on.

We will have to see what Boeing actually proposes and at what cost.

Respectfully,


Whatever Boeing have or haven't learned in terms of the cost of building barrels versus the cost of the panels on the A350, it will be absolute noise in the grand scheme of the costs and producability of an aircraft. It just will. This seems to be another drug like rush that people are fixating on again of late.

For clarity, I'm actually a fan of the CFRP barrels - they are how I would build a plane - I like anything that reduces parts count.

But my vocation for that last quarter of a century has been manufacturing strategy - the top end of ME, and very much focussed on how the overall costs for a product summate along the entire value system, including labour, materials, variable overheads, fixed overheads, and how they relate to the P+L.
The bare barrels, or panels, are way too small a part of the overall aggregated cost for a slight advantage to mean anything meaningful to the overall product cost.
Be clear that there is no technology difference between the A350 CFRP panels and the 787 CRP barrels - only geometry.

And I absolutely don't buy that it has taken 650 deliveries, plus the 100 or so frames in the production cycle for Boeing to finally make a step shift in the cost of barrel manufacture that they feel confident enough to pass into future orders.
2018 will be the 5th year of 3 figure deliveries. The big learning curve gains on the barrels will have been made nearly half a decade ago, IMO.

I think it undersells Boeing too when people fixate on the barrels as the primary difference that Boeing have in their pocket to sell forward on the MOM.
They will only be one of a whole suite of aggressive cost-cutting activities that Boeing will engage in across that said value system.

Rgds

My friend, I take the barrels as making the parts and stuffing them. I've yet to see an aircraft where it isn't cheaper to stuff sub-assemblies in parallel than install in the final design.

Boeing squeezed the vendor chain. IMHO part of the cost savings of 3D printing for the 787 was shopping for lower cost vendors. I very much believe in cost savings of 3D printing.

Boeing had a goal to match A330NEO production costs with the 788/789 and 787-10 below $95 million. I saw tremendous re-engineering to cut production cost.

IIRC, Spirit alone had to bill $6 million less per airframe.

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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:58 pm

airmagnac wrote:
Revelation wrote:
But the main point still stands: I don't think 797 will be as big an effort as 787 turned out to be, for many different reasons.

I'm afraid I'd call that wishful thinking ; I see no good reason why that would be the case.
Your underlying argument is that the 797 would be to the 787 what the A350 was to the A380. But you miss a major difference : the A350 was launched and in detailled design even as the A380 was still in development. Basically, the same people who had just experienced hellish issues on the A380 and had to come up with imaginative solutions, were the same ones who were asked to start from scratch and avoid the issues altogether.
Additonnally, the same technological and integration solutions could be used with simpole improvements, as so little time had gone by.

In this 797 case, by the time actual design gets underway, there will be a nearly 10 year gap with the end of 787 full develoment (I do not count derivative design as equivalent to full development). And a 20 year gap since the 787 technology freeze.
In the meantime, most engineering staff would have moved on, inside of Boeing or outside. Especially as this is the USA, where the workforce is more volatile.
Even if no "all new gamechanging revolutionary" technological solutions are retained, local improvements and fine-tuning alone would lead to large differences with 787 techological solutions. And the integration solutions, i.e. how you tie all the different technologies together into a coherent airplane, will also be very different to the 787, due to the stated objective of drastically reducing production costs.
Oh and in addition to what Astuteman mentioned above, if Boeing had really succeeded in signifcantly reducing production costs on the 787, they would't be publically talking about figuring out new ways of working for the 797.

I appreciate the insights, especially the ones along the lines that Airbus did the A350 immediately after doing the A380 and mostly the same people were involved so there was an ideal amount of information transfer. More or less what we will see in the 777x -> 797 wing, no?

And my main point is not to compare Team A to Team B, nor to say 797 will be simple, but to say 797 won't be as big a project as 787. They won't be having to buy out partners like they did on 787, barring another total misjudgement on partnerships. Everyone involved is saying they will be using largely derivative technology, no moonshots.

airmagnac wrote:
Meanwhile in the real world, the demand is concentrated around A320 and 787-9/A350-900 sized aircraft, and there is no tangible sign that a new market segment has popped up out of nowhere. The whole discussion only started 3 years ago because Boeing have no good option other than aiming for this space. But that is an internal Boeing strategic need, not a clear market demand that Airbus needs to respond to right now.

The market is focused on those aircraft because that's what is on offer. When something else in between 737/A320 and 787-9/A350-900 with state of the art efficiency is on offer, we'll see if the market embraces it or not. I think they will. I also agree that there are some corporate imperatives and competitive realities that drive the project, and I don't find that troubling. As a famous aviation executive said, “We cannot fix everything at the same time". His name is given earlier in this thread.
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:10 pm

keesje wrote:
Well Newbiepilot, Revelation, hopefully Airbus can deliver to what they committed to first” before moving on to an A320neo family upgrade.
Unless fixing the engines takes more then 4-5 yrs of course. :shy:

If the issue were just fixing engines, the resource shift would be happening at Pratt and not at Airbus.
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astuteman
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:28 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
First off, it feels like you are signaling me out yet not bothered by Wiederling’s comment, which was entirely unsubstantiated.


Ah. My apologies. I wasn't bothered by Wiederling's comment, I ignored it as no more than an anecdote.
I don't believe you will see a meaningful difference in the way that either OEM approaches Manufacturing Engineering, lineside support, or "up-front" preparation.

If there was an unconscious bias at play there, I apologise.
For what its worth, I don't think Airbus spend more "up-front" than Boeing do.
These are both extremely competent manufacturers.

Thanks also for the picture. Of course Boeing's picture is about to get more complex too, when it opens its FAL in China. :)

Referring to Lightsaber's response in a moment, the pictures have the same issue that frustrates me with the high level build MAP's (Manufacturing Assembly Plans) we have at work. They only really show structures and don't describe the level of completion of the assemblies (e.g. pre-stuffed barrels), and how the integration is managed, which would be more relevant in terms of "complexity of supply". Something I am in the process of fixing at work :)

lightsaber wrote:
My friend, I take the barrels as making the parts and stuffing them. I've yet to see an aircraft where it isn't cheaper to stuff sub-assemblies in parallel than install in the final design.


For what it's worth, I absolutely agree with this.
This is the sort of manufacturing strategy work that I do for a living on a phenomenally complex product.
It aligns with my earlier comments that the bare barrels are just a component. A clever and elegant one. But..

But then I'm puzzled.
Because Airbus have been stuffing fuselage sections for decades prior to shipping to final assembly.
If we consider completely assembled outfitted sections, then, rather than the CFRP barrels themselves are a competitve advantage, we might actually be saying that they are Boeing playing "catch-up", rather than gaining an advantage. I jest.
But I have no idea how pre-stuffed the sections from Wichita are when the hit the FAL.
I'm pretty sure MOM will be fully stuffed. But then so is the A320, and therefore pre-stuffed barrels are unlikely to be be a competitive advantage for the MOM over an A320 derivative, which is already pre-stuffed.

Rgds
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:40 pm

2175301 wrote:
If what we are calling the 797 is indeed introduced as CFRP barrel construction - you can bet that Boeing has figured something out that cannot likely be matched by panel on frame for production cost. If it's panels on frame, then they have not.


On this I have to disagree. Having done hundreds of 787 barrels already, this method is the obvious choice for Boeing. They would need a very compelling reason to switch to panels instead, since that would mean setting up a whole new manufacturing system (including factory layouts, supply chain, training, etc.) rather than simply refining their existing processes.

So - since I'm in agreement with Astuteman that the two techniques are not significantly better or worse than each other in the grand scheme of things - I would argue your statement the opposite way round: if it's a barrel, it means nothing; if it's composite panels then (put on your flameproof underpants) that means barrels were a mistake!
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santi319
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:49 pm

Somehow somewhere in my gut, theres a feeling that 15+Hrs on a narrowbody just doesnt make sense as a smart business move.
 
JoeCanuck
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:00 pm

SomebodyInTLS wrote:
2175301 wrote:
If what we are calling the 797 is indeed introduced as CFRP barrel construction - you can bet that Boeing has figured something out that cannot likely be matched by panel on frame for production cost. If it's panels on frame, then they have not.


On this I have to disagree. Having done hundreds of 787 barrels already, this method is the obvious choice for Boeing. They would need a very compelling reason to switch to panels instead, since that would mean setting up a whole new manufacturing system (including factory layouts, supply chain, training, etc.) rather than simply refining their existing processes.

So - since I'm in agreement with Astuteman that the two techniques are not significantly better or worse than each other in the grand scheme of things - I would argue your statement the opposite way round: if it's a barrel, it means nothing; if it's composite panels then (put on your flameproof underpants) that means barrels were a mistake!


IF Boeing decided to switch to panels for a new plane, that doesn't automatically mean that barrels were a mistake on the 787. All it would mean that barrels were optimum then, and something better may have come along in the meantime.

Now, I'm not saying Airbus's panel method is ideal either. CFRP techology is advancing every day, so neither method may be the best idea for the next gen aircraft.

While it certainly would not be a good idea to switch formats on existing production lines, if you're building a new line, it may be more efficient to incorporate the newest technology available.
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:13 pm

Here we read that Boeing really can't carry much forward from 787 to 797 and that Boeing has not much choice but use barrels on 797 all in the same thread. :fever: :headache: :faint:
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:17 pm

AFAIK Airbus an A320 FAL puts eleven sub-assemblies together. (Left & Right wing, forward and center+aft fusalage, talecone, horizontal & vertical stabilizer, two engines and two engine pylons.) Nine of these are manufactured by Airbus. For the ramp-up to rate 50/month they moved to flow-lines. I think they didn't move to multiple production sites jet. But for further ramp-up they will have to move away from the one site production proces.
AFAIK the current A320 division is: (Original program launch)
France: Pylons, horizontal tale plane and Forward fuselage (nearly fully integrated).
Germany: Aft fuselage (nearly fully integrated) and vertical tale plane
UK: Integrated wing sets.
(Originally the A320FAL was in Toulouse, reuse of the A300/A310 production facility. Cabin outfitting in Hamburg. This changed with the launch of the A321 and A319 their was originally at Hamburg (FAL 1&2). Now all FALs do plane assembly and cabin outfitting.)

It's the production proces where bombardier screwed up in their CSeries program. Also without the Boeing bullying it went over the cliff. Boeing tried to terminate the CSeries program by the dumping clame on the Delta CS100 order. But the result is that Airbus got 50.01% for $1,- and its more credible than it has ever been.
I think fixing the CSeries production proces and the A320 ramp-up, will and up overlapping a lot. (but I'm speculating).

Edit to add: AFAIK Airbus started using CFRP on the vertical stabilizer of the A310.
 
Amiga500
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:22 pm

I would very much suspect nothing is shelved anyway. Folks reading too much into some fairly woolly statements.
 
JoeCanuck
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:33 pm

Revelation wrote:
Here we read that Boeing really can't carry much forward from 787 to 797 and that Boeing has not much choice but use barrels on 797 all in the same thread. :fever: :headache: :faint:


I find it very useful to not believe everything I read. Hell...I'm not sure I even believe everything I write. :tongue2:
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:14 pm

Amiga500 wrote:
I would very much suspect nothing is shelved anyway. Folks reading too much into some fairly woolly statements.


:checkmark:

I think the statements are more saying what disadvantaged customers want to hear today than anything else.
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:09 am

keesje wrote:
Amiga500 wrote:
I would very much suspect nothing is shelved anyway. Folks reading too much into some fairly woolly statements.


:checkmark:

I think the statements are more saying what disadvantaged customers want to hear today than anything else.


It also tells us that an A320plus is not likely to be launched at Farnborough in 2018 like some hoped/predicted. I’m starting to wonder if Boeing may launch a 797 at Farnborough and if they do will the A320plus come back to life again?
 
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:06 am

A clean sheet design making the "A321-ish size" as the base model while using the newly acquired C-Series to fill the lower end to replace the A320 family?

e.g. A318->CS100, A319->CS300, A320->CS500, A321-> (CS700/A370-200??)
The new model will be able to be stretched a few times easily unlike the A320 family which is close to its upper limit.

Sounds logical but I'm not sure if the niche market is really large enough for the MoM, the A320neo family isn't lacking sales in any way. I don't think there is much demand on a new model.
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2175301
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:22 am

astuteman wrote:
2175301 wrote:
Overall you are correct it's a small piece of the puzzel. But, it could be strtegically an important piece as it would buy Boeing in the range of 5 years of market advantage - even if its only a $ Million per aircraft as Airbus would have to go through a similar learning curve in order to catch up.

If what we are calling the 797 is indeed introduced as CFRP barrel construction - you can bet that Boeing has figured something out that cannot likely be matched by panel on frame for production cost. If it's panels on frame, then they have not.

I'm just open to that possibility - and even see it as a potential realisitic possibility. It would make that part of the the investment into the 787 pay off hugely...


To be fair, I have no issue with keeping an open mind - it's clearly possible that there has been an improvement beyond learning curve in the barrel construction. But here's my issue.
The 787 has been produced since 2004 and delivered since 2011. By the launch of the A330NEO in 2014 they had delivered some 200 frames and were at 100 per year rate. Yet between the 2014 launch of the A330NEO and its October 2017 first flight, Airbus managed to sell 440 A330's of all types against 272 x 787's. (per wikipedia)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A330neo#Orders

Boeing could not leverage enough to smother the A330/NEO prior to 2018. However, in 2018 we see Boeing being way more aggressive with the 787

What has changed since 2017?..

1. The 787 has experienced a planned increase in its production rate up to 14 per month, improving both availability and cost.
2. Boeing have embarked on an intensive application of ALM to reduce the cost of titanium components by what they hope will be up to $3M per frame
3. Boeing are perceived to be undertaking an unprecedented approach to squeezing supply chain costs on the 787
4. the A330 NEO IS has been delayed by some 12 months, and this has made A330NEO contracts vulnerable to re-negotiation.

You look at all those factors I've listed, and then tell me it's more likely that Boeing have suddenly discovered some magic in the CFRP barrels at LN 700+ that makes them able to out-bid Airbus on the A330NEO in 2018 that they couldn't previously.
My apologies, but respectfully, Occam's razor is sharp for a very good reason.

IMO reasons 1 and 4 above - the considerable rate increase, and the vulnerability of the A330NEO contractually are the two biggest reasons we have seen Boeing getting very aggressive with price on the 787 in 2018.
Reasons 2 and 3 will be strong contributors to that process.
The thing with reasons 2 and 3 though is that they constitute normal business IMO for any worthy manufacturer.

Why is this important on this thread?

Because if we look at how the 787 factors read across into MOM vs an Airbus response based on the A320 we might see a slightly different picture emerging.

1. Production rate. I don't envy anyone going up against the A320 family (or 737) today in terms of cost when these frames are likely to passing 60 per month and upwards - the economies of scale are simply staggering

2. ALM - much has been made of Boeing's approach to ALM on the 787 - rightly so. Unfortunately most of us seem to have interpreted it as Boeing taking a lead of some sorts when it isn't. Something different is going on IMO, and it is a very, very important dynamic, in my view.

The best way to leverage advantage is to play to your strength. Boeing are clearly doing so with implementing ALM on the 787. They make great play of it.
You don't hear anything much at all about the implementation of ALM on the 737. I bet there is some, and I predict there will be more. But it seems that Boeing are focussing on the 787 as the priority.
What most people seem to have missed is that Airbus have gone to huge efforts to implement ALM on the A320 series in a big way. I don't know why its missed, because there is a fair amount of information out there about it. They are well down the track of replacing a large part of the TI components for cost, and have already turned some attention to the replacement of "lesser" parts for performance purposes. The obvious example of which is the "bionic bulkhead" which is the
standard cabin partition, but ALM reduces it from 75kg to 30kg. 4 of these partitions on an A321 reduces its weight by 180kg. They are not expensive items.

We hear some things on the A350, but not to the same extent. So why have Airbus focussed on the A320 first? Because it plays to their strength, of course.
Despite the intense competiton from the 737, and the huge ramp-up issues the NEO has, it is hard to avoid concluding that Airbus must be making some 14%-15% margin on the A320 series. Indeed in Q4 last year when they managed to get some of the many gliders to fly, this must have been nearer 16%-18%.
The Q4 2017 Airbus Commercial margin of c.11% didn't come from any of the other programmes - A380, A350, A330, did it?
It is my belief that if Pratt pull their finger out in 2018 the A320 will be approaching 20% margin by the end of the year.

And a thought for you. we have seen Boeing use the "dumping" argument in the USA, and I remain convinced that the threat of a dumping claim has been fundamental in the loss of the HA and AA A330NEO prospects, when Boeing are free to price so aggressively.
Yet Airbus can place big A320NEO contracts with impunity with US based customers. Because Boeing cannot exert enough pricing on so many frames to invoke a dumping claim when the A320 production costs are so low.

As for the other factors

3. Aggressive supply chain management. For every increase in the aggression shown by Boeing, I expect a like response from Airbus. This is not a sustainable competitive advantage. It has been posted on this forum that evidence of this has been observed by members from Airbus, but I can only assume it got lost in the 787 hype.

4. Contract delays. This is the only place I think the A320 is vulnerable, and indeed we saw QR order the MAX verbally citing issues with the NEO as a cause. I suspect that by the time MOM gets moving, these issues will be behind the A320.

I know that was a long response. I apologise.

But it outlines my reasons why I don't think MOM being produced with CFRP barrels will make much difference to its competitiveness with an A320 Plus, or plus-plus, provided Airbus can keep enough commoniality with the base A320 series to leverage economies of scale.

Revelation wrote:
The point I was trying to make was that 797 will learn a lot from 787 and it will be a much smaller development effort than 787 itself was. In retrospect I should not have used the A350 example the way I did. Instead, I should have said 797 will learn a lot from 787 just like A350 learned a lot from A380. But the main point still stands: I don't think 797 will be as big an effort as 787 turned out to be, for many different reasons.


I must agree completely. I think Boeing did most of the technology heavy lifting on the 787. I don't think they can afford to, or will be prepared to, make the MOM another moonshot. Anything they do will be incremental at best from the 787.

Rgds


Thank you for the long explaination Astuteman; much of what I knew already. However I believe that you, and others, have missed a key item concerning 787 cost/price for future orders that is very significant. Also, that the "797" cost will not likely be incremental cost from the 787 on barrels (assuming they go that way).

Lets first talk about 787 deffered cost - and what happens when most of it (or all of it) is paid off. Using end of year and 4th quarter 2017 numbers: Boeing had and outstanding deffered and unamortized tooling cost of $28,531 Billion (if I added correctly), and 658 orders. This would be about $43 million per remaining aircraft. Looking at the 3rd to 4th quarter reports on Deferred and unamortized cooling cost Boeing reduced such cost by $751 million with 36 deliveries (and average of $20.86 million per aircraft if I did my math correctly). Word on the street was that Boeing was just getting into delivering aircraft that was sold at higher prices and was finishing up on early sales at lower prices... and that the future deferral and unamortized tooling recovery would be more per aircraft moving forward.

With the cost reduction on 787 production I believe that Boeing sees that they may well have enough orders on the books at high enough margins to come very close to paying off all the deffered and unamorized cost, if not all of it.

What happens when Boeing no longer needs to collect an average of $40 million per aircraft to pay off past deffered cost. Might they decide to just drop the price of future aircraft by $20 or $30 Million (perhaps more). They would still be quite profitable... and I doubt Airbus could match such a price drop due to the difference in accounting methods (program accounting has pros and cons - sometimes it hurts - sometimes it helps: Long term both accounting forms produce essentially the same numbers though).

I actually think that the last 2 "aggressive" 787 price orders are in fact a reflection of such a price reduction... driven mainly by at least an expected substantial payoff of the deferred and unamortized tooling cost with the current ordres in house. Even if they only pay off half the deffered cost... they could still lower the price easily by $10-$15 million per 787 as increasing sales will allow them to increase the accounting block.

Please add that to your evaluation...

Item 2: Concering barrel cost and lessons learned. I agree with you that Boeing has not magically found a way to substaintially reduce the cost of the current in production 787 barrels. A few minor improvements yes; but even if they have the lessons learned and know what they would do differently... they cannot implement it and them on the very busy 787 assembly line (unless perhaps the assembly speed was to be cut in half from the current).

I also agree that they have been cutting many costs associated with manufacture of the 787 and other aircraft - and agree with you that Airbus has done the same in many areas.

But, they can apply those lessons learned with the 787 barrels to a new designed barrel for a new aircraft.... I am not arguing that they can significantly reduce the cost of manufacture of the 787 barrels. My point is that they have potentially learned how to produce a much less costly barrel in the process of making 600+ of them for the 787; and that is what will show up on the 797 (not just the incremental improvement on the 787 cost; but, likely a step change in cost). That concept matches the industrial and manufacturing development cycle. This is what I am asking you to keep an open mind on. That Boeing might be able to pull a step change in barrel production cost off - for which frame and panel cannot match.

Respectfully,

ps (Sorry for some misspellings, etc. I'm on a laptop with MS Edge and "read aloud" got turned on and could not be turned off... which prevented further editing as it restarted whenever I did anything. I finally had to post it as is and the edit feature here does not show previous text misspellings: Have a great day,).
 
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keesje
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:48 am

leyland1989 wrote:
A clean sheet design making the "A321-ish size" as the base model while using the newly acquired C-Series to fill the lower end to replace the A320 family?

e.g. A318->CS100, A319->CS300, A320->CS500, A321-> (CS700/A370-200??)
The new model will be able to be stretched a few times easily unlike the A320 family which is close to its upper limit.

Sounds logical but I'm not sure if the niche market is really large enough for the MoM, the A320neo family isn't lacking sales in any way. I don't think there is much demand on a new model.


The A320NEO has been outselling the 737-800/-8 for years and there are 3000-4000 in the backlog (further A321 conversions). Replacing it with something less capable, that can't move AKH's/ pallets, seems low priority for now,. To determine how Boeing and Airbus will proceed in the next 5 years, it proved more practical to see what seems logic / makes sense than to the attach great value to what an executive says at a specific moment with a specific goal. I think those executives would agree :blockhead:

Concerning the 797 made out of panels or tubes, both is possible. I think the fact composites fuselages traditionally don't scale down well, might still be an consideration. E.g. hail impact might limit skin thinness rather then the required loads. So a fuselage might become more heavy then the should be just because of loads. Metal ain't so bad here.

Another consideration in this NMA would do much more cycles then a WB, so typical ramp rash will be much more frequent. Repair of monolithic barrels is different from replacing a panel.

Image

Also producing the fuselages a different locations, moving sub-assemblies around is different with barrels. It's all trade-offs of cons and pro's and no doubt Boeing will do a reasonable trade-off. What is a good technology for a WB might not be for a world wide mass produced narrower body. The Chinese might be willing to buy 1000 NMA's, specially if it's build in China. If not, no problem..

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2018-01-09/airbus-raise-a320-production-tianjin
Last edited by keesje on Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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airmagnac
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:11 am

Revelation wrote:
More or less what we will see in the 777x -> 797 wing, no?


Yes that's much more likely, along with the few fuselage modifications that comes in the 777X package. But with a few caveats :
- supplier management on a new program will be much greater than 777X
- more generally, there are many many more complex interfaces to manage for a full development, be it between standing organisations, workpackages, products, design teams vs operations teams, OEM vs suppliers etc..
- a similar product does not necessarily mean all knowledge is carried over from one to the other. For that, you need knowledge management, and in particular that means people management as knowledge is mostly carried by skilled & experienced people. In this case, it's the US (more volatile workforce), there is a growing proportion of millenials in the workforce (who tend to move frequently between positions), and the more "static" old-time super-experts of the baby-boom generation are about to retire en masse (that may have played a role in the Airbus decision too !)

Revelation wrote:
And my main point is not to compare Team A to Team B, nor to say 797 will be simple, but to say 797 won't be as big a project as 787. They won't be having to buy out partners like they did on 787, barring another total misjudgement on partnerships. Everyone involved is saying they will be using largely derivative technology, no moonshots.

I guess it depends what we call "big project". I'd call any aircraft development a big project.
As I said, the A350 came on the heels of the A380, re-used most of the solutions regarding systems, yet consumed >10B$ and took 9 years to EIS, and another 4-5 years to full production rate.
Whichever way we cut it, the 797 will be on the same orders of magnitude, give or take a couple billion $ and a couple of years if model-based design and operations is implemented correctly.

Revelation wrote:
The market is focused on those aircraft because that's what is on offer.

Because the 4 aircraft on offer (757, 767, A300, A310) were retired 15 years ago, whereas contemporary or older designs (A320, 737, A330, 777) keep chugging along still fine. This cannot be ignored. Sorry, but the reality is that by the very nature of being in the 'Middle', any aircraft in this MOM segment starts with an efficiency handicap. A jack-of-all-trades works when you start with an optimal design and extend its capabilities. It cannot work when you start with an inherently handicapped design, which can only be slightly optimized for its narrow market.
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Amiga500
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Re: Airbus shelves A320neo-plus study

Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:24 am

Newbiepilot wrote:
It also tells us that an A320plus is not likely to be launched at Farnborough in 2018 like some hoped/predicted. I’m starting to wonder if Boeing may launch a 797 at Farnborough and if they do will the A320plus come back to life again?


I'd broadly agree with that.

I'd now be very surprised if Airbus launched anything new at Farnborough... but you never know. Could be an attempt to blindside Boeing.

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