Print 26 comment(s) - last by Ringold.. on Sep 24 at 1:42 AM

Airbus announces new delays for the world's largest airliner

Airbus has announced new delays for its massive A380 superjumbo jet. The French company reported today that it is having continued problems with wiring installations. The troubled program has already been plagued by two previous delays and this latest hitch could set back deliveries by another six months.

The $300 million USD Airbus A380, which is the biggest airliner ever built, has a three-class seating capacity of 555 people and can carry a maximum of 800 in all-economy class seating. Airbus has already received orders from Virgin Atlantic, Qantas, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, FedEx and UPS. Reuters reports:

The 12-billion-euro ($15 billion) programme to produce a new class of mammoth plane has already been hit twice by problems in fitting each jet's 500 km (300 miles) of wiring, culminating in a 2 billion euro profit warning and management shake-up in June…Assembly workers in Toulouse, southern France, have been bogged down for a year in airlines' request for special cabin features and frills that affect each plane's wiring layout.

Shares of EADS, the parent company of Airbus, were down 3.9% on news of the announcement. Shares of EADS are down a total of 30% for the year as it recovers from setbacks caused by an A350 engine redesign and impending competition from Boeing's stretched 747-8 and yet to be released 787 Dreamliner.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Good for USA + Boeing
By kibets on 9/21/2006 3:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
I never liked flying and the thought of one of those 900 passenger planes sounds terrible. Imagine having to wait while 850 people have to get their bags out of the overhead compartment before you can get out, or the massive lines while boarding.

Plus when one of those babies comes down a lot of people aren't going to be very happy.

RE: Good for USA + Boeing
By TwistyKat on 9/21/2006 3:26:02 PM , Rating: 2
or the massive lines while boarding.

That is one of problems. Any carrier that intends to use this Big Bird has to modify the terminal it will load and unload passengers in to accomodate the passender load. I believe idea is that multi-level terminals will make this easy.

In theory, of course.

RE: Good for USA + Boeing
By dice1111 on 9/21/2006 4:02:35 PM , Rating: 4
I don't believe they currently have a system to tell the baggage dept. where I’m sitting, so how are they going to know if i'm on the upper or lower floor when it comes time to pick up my bags?

And 900 people around one baggage caracole does not sound appealing.

I can see a logistics’ nightmare ahead.

RE: Good for USA + Boeing
By lemonadesoda on 9/21/2006 7:04:13 PM , Rating: 3
Relax! More time to pick up chicks and stewardesses ;-)

RE: Good for USA + Boeing
By Spivonious on 9/21/2006 5:01:37 PM , Rating: 4
Multi-threaded airports :P

RE: Good for USA + Boeing
By Clauzii on 9/22/2006 4:28:12 AM , Rating: 2

Ahhh - They have to wait for Quadcores to come out - THATs why!

RE: Good for USA + Boeing
By rushfan2006 on 9/21/2006 4:51:38 PM , Rating: 4
I never liked flying and the thought of one of those 900 passenger planes sounds terrible. Imagine having to wait while 850 people have to get their bags out of the overhead compartment before you can get out, or the massive lines while boarding.

I believe the max capacity is 800, not 900..and that 800 is reached only if its all econo class seating; which for the price tag of this craft wouldn't make a lot of business sense in terms of profits so I'd think an all econo class version would be few and far between. Probably closer to the 550-600 range to fit in the money making business class and the money raping first class seatings.

Your point is still valid though...which is that's a lot of damn people.

I believe they'd handle it with multi-level terminals, which would be common sense, that would virtually make the amount of people boarding/leaving each level about the same as a "normal" 200 seater (sorry the class of plane slipped my mind there).

As for the baggage question another person raises....actually I see zero problem there, they actually DO have a system for keeping track of backs on multi-level planes already. Remember for decades there have been commercial multi-level jets in service at international airports. So I'd just imagine they'd use the same system for those planes in this case as well.

Finally, I love flying, even after 911 - statistically its the safest way to travel long far. And besides, in a car/train/bus you have a greater chance of surviving a horrible wreck and having to live with excruciating pain or paralysis, etc.. then in a least in a plane if you crash into a mountain at 500 mph or fall to the ground from 42,000 feet...chances are good you ain't feeling a damn thing.

RE: Good for USA + Boeing
By noxipoo on 9/21/2006 6:13:54 PM , Rating: 2
yeah but that minute of your life spent crashing to earth sure as hell sounds painful, hehe.

RE: Good for USA + Boeing
By masher2 on 9/22/2006 11:50:37 AM , Rating: 1
One minute? When KAL Flight 007 was shot down, the plane tumbled over 12 minutes before hitting the ocean. I'll take a train crash over that any day...

RE: Good for USA + Boeing
By Kuroyama on 9/22/2006 12:47:17 PM , Rating: 1
Welcome back masher2 (where have you been this last month?). That 12 minute figure is just scary. I would not want to spend 12 minutes in the process of dieing. However, I suppose once the bomb went off at say 35000 feet the passengers probably all froze or suffocated within a short time.

RE: Good for USA + Boeing
By masher2 on 9/22/2006 3:41:52 PM , Rating: 1
Thanks...I was on vacation for a couple weeks, and have been pretty much snowed under work-wise since I got back.

RE: Good for USA + Boeing
By Clauzii on 9/22/2006 3:36:36 AM , Rating: 2
It's 800...

By Loser on 9/21/2006 5:38:07 PM , Rating: 2
i thought they were already built 2 years ago o_O

By Xavian on 9/21/2006 5:44:39 PM , Rating: 2
The first plane was built a few years ago, however, you try building a plane as big as the A380 efficently when you have atleast 200 plane orders with many of them in custom configurations :P

The news isn't about the A380 itself being delayed, but rather the delivery date of the planes to the various airlines that brought them has been delayed. Because some airlines wanted custom configurations in their planes (read: bars and stuff)

By Keeir on 9/21/2006 7:25:17 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the delay will likely effect the majority if not all the airlines. Maybe the first few will not be delayed any further... but it sounds like the first few years will be very lean for getting these planes into the sky.

The reason seems to be that Airbus offered alot of custom features for this airplane, but did not budget the time or resources to ensure an adequate wiring plan was in place for all the features. Maybe even some structural changes needed to take place at the last minute that shifted several key wiring locations (remember, the A380's wing actually failed its wing test but FEA analysis showed the "new" wing was acceptable)

By Xavian on 9/22/2006 7:39:05 AM , Rating: 3
i maybe not reading correctly but did you just say exactly the same thing as i posted?

By klingon on 9/21/2006 3:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
Well they have to be really cautious with those wirings cause a small mistake or some loose connections can cause this mammoth to loose altitude.

RE: Problemo'
By bob661 on 9/21/2006 3:56:41 PM , Rating: 2
LOL!!! You make it sound like this is the first airplane ever built! Calm down man.

RE: Problemo'
By nomagic on 9/21/2006 7:23:06 PM , Rating: 2
You might think I am crazy, but I just cant stop thinking that this thing has a potential to become a modern TITANIC...

Of course, A380 is a sophisticated modern commercial aircraft, for which all foreseeable scenario are considered during design and construction phase. Advanced systems are installed to gurantee the safy of both crews and passengers aboard. In addition, maintance of the aircraft will always be done properly by ground crews.

RE: Problemo'
By Clauzii on 9/22/2006 3:51:55 AM , Rating: 2
There went a LOT of NEW thinking in to this plane, so it IS some sort of a first timer.

The news yesterday (in DK, DR1) stated that it was actually the entertainment system wirings that were the problem - and with a system so complex as the one used in A380 I don't see it being a big deal.

So they could put it in air right now, and give a rebate on the music and movies (lack of!)

Is this thing safe yet?
By Lifted on 9/21/2006 4:16:38 PM , Rating: 2
Has there ever been any confirmation or acknowledgement of the whistleblowers claims about the A380? Last I heard the European Avaiation Safety Agency was trying to bury this guy in a deep dark hole somewhere for making these claims.

"Joseph Mangan thought he was doing Airbus a favour when he warned of a small but potentially lethal fault in the new A380 super-jumbo, the biggest and most costly passenger jet ever built.

Instead, Europe's aviation giant rubbished his claims, and now he faces ruin, a morass of legal problems, and - soon - an Austrian prison. Mr Mangan is counting the days at his Vienna flat across the street from Schonbrunn Palace, wondering whether the bailiffs or the police will knock first.

An American aerospace engineer, he has discovered that Austria offers scant protection to whistleblowers. ...His troubles began in September 2004 when he contacted the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), claiming that the cabin pressure system in the A380 might not be safe, and that this had been concealed."

RE: Is this thing safe yet?
By Xavian on 9/21/2006 5:20:51 PM , Rating: 2
according to the 'whistleblower' it wasn't about the plane itself but rather the TiTech microchips that control the air cabin pressure, however the point is moot, because boeing uses the same chips in all its 747 varieties. Boeing themselves have also gone on record to say that they have experienced no problems with those microchips.

So, i believe the 'whistleblower' wasn't talking about the airbus 380 in general but rather the Titech Microchips.

RE: Is this thing safe yet?
By Suomynona on 9/21/2006 5:24:49 PM , Rating: 2
Of course not, silly.

SCAREBUS: "Fly by wire, die by fire"

RE: Is this thing safe yet?
By Ringold on 9/24/2006 1:42:22 AM , Rating: 2
I know it was a joke, but worth pointing out fly-by-wire in airliners typically isn't just all digital. There's still a physical connection to the control surfaces, control input pressure just gets a huge help. A friend of mine, a United captain, has told me of what some of the training is like; ie, landing with a total electrical failure in hurricane-force winds at a runway thats technically just a wee bit too short, at an altitude that should be a wee bit too low. He told me how much force has to be exerted on the control stick to lift the however-many-pounds elevator, ailerons, etc, but bottom line I think had pilot & copilot getting their feet up on the panel and pushing/pulling with everything they had, walking out of the simulator drenched.

That its possible to man-handle a plane to the ground at all should make folks feel pretty safe. Though, I'm just repeating what I've been told, I deal with no such 'fly by wire' tech in my C152s, C172-N's, or DA-20s. :)

By patentman on 9/21/2006 8:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
"Have you seen a plane?"

"Whats it look like?"

"Oh, it's a big pretty white plane with a red stripes, curtains at the windows, wheels, and it just looks like a big Tylenol. "

What a bummer...
By INeedCache on 9/21/2006 8:17:54 PM , Rating: 1
It's news like this that really ruins my day. Of course, that's after waking up, since this exciting tidbit put me to sleep.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
Related Articles
New Boeing 787 Pictures Released
March 10, 2006, 11:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki