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Boeing 787 Dreamliner during its official rollout  (Source: Boeing)
First test flights could begin as early as mid-November

Boeing is still going strong with its 787 "Dreamliner" program. The advanced, next-generation airliner makes use of 50 percent composite materials and is 20 percent more fuel efficient than the competing Airbus A330.

Boeing has experienced delays with its scheduled test flights, the company today said that the delays -- due to parts shortages and software programming issues -- won't affect deliveries which will being in May of next year.

"It is still our objective to meet that May 2008 delivery but in doing that we have had to compress our flight-test schedule," remarked Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President for Marketing Randy Tinseth.

Many had suspected that the delayed test flights, which are now scheduled to begin between mid-November and mid-December, would push back initial deliveries of the Dreamliner. Boeing, however, is confident that it can complete the mandatory 1,300 hours of in-flight testing and 3,700 of ground testing for full certification before the first deliveries.

"It is an aggressive schedule but we believe we can do it," Tinseth continued.

Photos of the first Dreamliner leaked onto the web in late June. An eager beaver aviation enthusiast was able to snap pictures of the unpainted plane fresh off the assembly line.

Two weeks later, the freshly-painted Dreamliner was rolled out to a crowd of 15,000 people and was viewed by an additional 30,000 people via a two-way satellite feed. As many as 100 million people were able to view the rollout via the Internet.

All Nippon Airways will receive the first batch of Dreamliners. The Japanese airliner has 30 787-3 and 20 787-8 aircraft on order with the option to purchase an additional 50 planes.



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By Martin Blank on 10/8/2007 11:58:14 AM , Rating: 3
I find it interesting that aviation buffs and common people alike in Europe and the US have been following the developments of the A380 and the 787 with a great deal of pride. As much as I disliked the past leadership of Boeing, I have to admit that they seem to have made the right call on this one, and as excited as I was to see the A380 fly -- I watched its first take-off on live TV -- I am far more excited at the thought of Boeing being able to get the 787 into production and on the flight line before the A380. It may help that I have a much better shot at flying on a 787 than an A380, since I rarely make long-distance flights, or perhaps its just taking pride in a domestically-produced aircraft. :)




By FITCamaro on 10/8/2007 12:08:00 PM , Rating: 2
I also prefer a Boeing plane which has a history of reliability rather than an Airbus which have been plagued with software issues in the past. Having been on the team that was developing the network system for the A400, I see this trend continuing.


By UNCjigga on 10/8/2007 12:11:20 PM , Rating: 2
Are Pacific Northwest folks still upset about the corporate move out of Seattle?


By FITCamaro on 10/8/2007 12:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't know. Didn't work for them.


By Eckstein on 10/8/2007 12:37:46 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, you are talking total rubbish.
Your claim, that Airbus has no "history of reliability", because of "software issues in the past", is plain nonsense!

Someone who really would have been "on the team that was developing the network system for the A400" would never say something like this. It sounds more like a typical bashing attempt by someone who has not the slightest idea what he is talking about.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/8/2007 1:01:07 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Someone who really would have been "on the team that was developing the network system for the A400" would never say something like this.

Don't know what planet you live on but engineers will criticize projects they work on if they are screwed up and they know it.

It's entirely possible the red tape, mismanagement, and beaurocratic BS made development and engineering a joke with lack of progress and constantly changing requirements (Much like many government projects I know.....)

Airbus might be a "Company" but all project decisions and top level mangagement decisions are made by a panel representing several european countries. Dealing with 1 government is a pain when working on large scale projects, but now you have 6 or more different countries with different priorities and agendas trying to manage a large scale project.... thats a recipe for frustration and disaster. Notice how Airbus has gone through a dozen or so executives in such a short timeframe? Probably because of the above.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/8/2007 1:39:14 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Btw.: Airbus/EADS receives much less governmental subsidies than the Boeing group.

Care to back up that claim? Last I checked they both recieved subsidies to some extent. Boeing has more cash to work with because it wins contracts for the U.S. Military and makes a decent profit off that.

On a no-subsidy playing field Airbus would likely come out in second place. Boeing has a better track record.


By Eckstein on 10/8/2007 1:55:29 PM , Rating: 2
The U.S. claim that Airbus received ~$15 billion in subsidies since 1970.
The Boeing group is accused of receiving more than ~$23 billion in U.S. subsidies since 1990, including clearly illegal export bounties.

http://www.buffalo.edu/reporter/vol35/vol35n40/art...
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/207500_boei...


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/8/2007 2:02:30 PM , Rating: 2
Neither side ever proved the amount of subsidies given to the other. To my knowledge that debate is still on going today.


By Eckstein on 10/8/2007 2:17:51 PM , Rating: 2
For example, the Washington state deal and the income exclusion act bounties are well proven and publicly documented.

We will see the conclusion on who got more subsidies in July 2008.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/8/2007 2:41:52 PM , Rating: 2
Where did you pull the July 2008 date from?


By Oregonian2 on 10/8/2007 1:46:24 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
The claim that Airbus lacks a history of reliability contrary to Boeing (because of software issues or whatever) is simply laughable and does not even worth to argue about.

I think this is true.

quote:
There are some EADS investors which are governements.
They act just as typical investors - there is no difference to the Boeing group for example.


Things I've read contradict your statement. There has been quite a bit of reporting having to do with international politics and where portions of projects are to be made. In particular, production is spread around the various participating countries to placate each national owner, and there seems to be a necessary cutback to improve efficiency, and this seems to be hitting the government related political fan. AFAIK this does not happen with Boeing. Pieces of Boeing's dreamliner are in fact being built everywhere (including Airbus countries) but there does not seem to be any government actions. Boeing even moved its headquarters from metro-Seattle to Chicago without any government actions involved -- they just announced they're going to move, and they did.

quote:
Btw.: Airbus/EADS receives much less governmental subsidies than the Boeing group.


This also contradicts what I have read. Airbus has gotten direct government huge-money loan financing for large projects, AFAIK Boeing has had nothing whatsoever like that. At best Boeing has had government contracts for doing various things -- and calling that "subsidies" is like calling Singapore Airlines a subsidizer by means of being a customer. The US Government is just a large customer of Boeing.


RE: Regional pride evident in both the 787 and A380
By Ringold on 10/8/2007 3:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
As FIT said regarding Airbus and his college professors using EADS as a case study in software glitches, my own economics professors used Airbus/EADS as a case study in governments creating nationalized industries to serve political rather than economic or competitive goals. EADS is and shall continue to be a branch of the Western European powers.

It'll also likely fail to be reliably competitive until it faces the proper risk; risk that isn't possible until the government divests fully from EADS and makes it clear that no further subsidized money will be awarded. When Airbus officials know that a product failure means financial disaster and a train ticket to the soup kitchens they'll be competitive. Until then, they're postal employees and can be expected to act as such.

That's not to say local governments can give propery tax breaks and the like; thats different from absolute cheap or no-interest bail-out money, that's being competitive on a local level. Governments could also buy product at market prices; that wouldn't be the end of the world either. EADS sovereign shareholders though are a long, long way from being even that open.

I think it's also the EADS screw-up that allowed cooler heads to prevail, to a degree, in their attempt to have a totally seperate rival GPS constellation -- just for the hell of it, 'cause, you know, Europe can't dare rely on the Great Satan's system. Last I'd heard, anyway, the government financing was drying up. I wouldn't put it past the Europeans to of abandoned economic reasoning and funded it since then though.


By Ringold on 10/8/2007 4:34:13 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?story_id...

Also just happened to come across that. Possible government malfeasance? NEVER!

While shady dealings may or may not have occured, many on-going hazards of being a partly state-owned entity are laid bare in that article, none of which exist in Boeing to any extent greater than any other public firm.


By aeroengineer1 on 10/8/2007 5:38:47 PM , Rating: 4
I find your comments most interesting, and at the level of a 16 year old that has just figured out that he can talk big, but has no power to back it up. For your sake I hoe that you are 16, because at least you would have an excuse. I am also an engineer that has worked with an Airbus project. I can tell you that it is difficult working with different governments. As much as people would like to say that it does not exist, many Germans are not particularly fond of French and vis versa.

Your view that the governments involved with EADS are only in the investor role is also wrong. All that is needed to counter that claim is the political wrangling that was and still is occurring with the Power 8 restructuring deal.

As for software defects, please refer to the Airbus product that was doing a low and slow flyby at an air display. Sadly he deforested the area at the end of the runway because the programing was not allowing the engines to spool back up. This is a highly debated topic, but similar events were reported by other pilots, though without the disastrous consequences. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EM0hDchVlY
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_296


By Samus on 10/9/2007 6:57:02 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Don't know what planet you live on but engineers will criticize projects they work on if they are screwed up and they know it.


I used to work for Ford here in Chicago on an engineering team for transmission concepts and implementation. I have been pretty vocal on this forum, particularely in the auto forum, about my experience at Ford. Nobody has 'come to get me' and basically I have nothing to hide.

There were always things happening (especially in production and quality) that I didn't agree with under Nassers' wings, and I would be surprised if anybody on my team back then wouldn't talk about it today as an example of continuing tradition in failure, such as Airbus.


By asliarun on 10/9/2007 7:21:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's entirely possible the red tape, mismanagement, and beaurocratic BS made development and engineering a joke


Jeez.. didn't expect a fanboy comment from you, Master Kenobi. The fact of the matter is that Airbus vs Boeing have BOTH made great and mediocre products over the years. If you think that Airbus engineering was a joke, take a look at the A320 success story which was pretty much the first "fly by wire" aircraft that was easily 10-20 years ahead of its time, and almost made the pilot redundant. Boeing has similarly made revolutionary aircrafts such as the 747 "Jumbo" that still does not have any significant competition, and the 787 is simply a class apart.

BOTH organizations are plagued by similar problems, namely bureaucracy, design mistakes, and the simple fact that most modern day aircrafts become obsolete by the time they exit the drawing board and enter commercial production. Having said that, your statement that Airbus's (or Boeing's) engineering is a joke makes you sound like a fanboy and I expected better from you since you're normally much more rational.


By FITCamaro on 10/8/2007 1:02:02 PM , Rating: 3
Nice try at putting words in my mouth.

I did not say they have no history of reliability. I implied that their history isn't as good as Boeings.

And how about the software bug in an Airbus plane that caused the computers to crash and the plane to fly straight for an entire minute with the pilots having no control while the system rebooted. And this was over London, not in the middle of nowhere.

Other:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19...
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/today/2005-...
http://www.cs.tau.ac.il/~nachumd/horror.html Several things there.


By FITCamaro on 10/8/2007 1:26:14 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and also, my opinions of Airbus really have nothing to do with my work experience but from information gathered during college from professors who used Airbus as a case study of how badly software can be made.

You can hate my opinion but it's mine and I'm sticking to it. Hence why its an opinion.


By Eckstein on 10/8/2007 1:37:12 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Nice try at putting words in my mouth.

I did not say they have no history of reliability. I implied that their history isn't as good as Boeings.
You don't know your native language then. "rather than" is a negation and thus you did imply it.

quote:
And how about the software bug in an Airbus plane that caused the computers to crash and the plane to fly straight for an entire minute with the pilots having no control while the system rebooted. And this was over London, not in the middle of nowhere.

Other:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19...
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/today/2005-...
http://www.cs.tau.ac.il/~nachumd/horror.html Several things there.
And how do you think does this demonstrate a relation to Boeing's reliability?
You are clearly doing nothing else than clueless bashing.


By FITCamaro on 10/8/2007 2:05:47 PM , Rating: 1
Cite me examples showing that Boeing is just as bad or worse?

At least on that last link, all the commercial planes in question are Airbus save one that it doesn't list the plane type. It mentions and F-16 and F-18 which were Lockheed+General Dynamics and Northrop+McDonnell Douglas ventures. The somewhat recent F-22 international dateline glitch happened which Boeing helps manufacture but Lockheed likely would have been responsible for that software.


By weskurtz0081 on 10/8/2007 2:13:47 PM , Rating: 2
The avionics company would be the ultimate one responsible for the glitch but Boeing/Lockheed will take the blame since they are the ones designing the jets. Not sure who makes the cabinets for the F-22, probably Honeywell or someone else. But they are responsible for the software, Lockheed/Boeing put the stuff in and make sure it works how it is supposed to.


By Eckstein on 10/8/2007 2:24:58 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Cite me examples showing that Boeing is just as bad or worse?
YOU are the one who makes the rash claims here.
So how in the hell do you get the idea that anyone else than YOU have to approve/disprove them?

Just this much: It is well known in the industry that EADS and Boeing are both competing very well.


By Keeir on 10/8/2007 3:06:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
YOU are the one who makes the rash claims here.


He was until he provided links to actual events.

Can't you find some examples from Boeing on software glitches?

quote:
Just this much: It is well known in the industry that EADS and Boeing are both competing very well.


Its also well known that EADS and Boeing have different strengths and weaknesses. An EADS weakness could be slightly less reliable software.


By teldar on 10/8/2007 4:47:46 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
YOU are the one who makes the rash claims here.So how in the hell do you get the idea that anyone else than YOU have to approve/disprove them?


Dude.

You might want to check your chin for some saliva. It sounds like you're working yourself into a frothing rage because someone said something negative about AirBus.

I'm the furthest thing from an aviation/airplane expert and I'm not an economics expert, but from everything I've ever read, Airbus has had significant problems with political infighting causing a lack of reliability in terms of financing and production schedules. Read that again if you need to.... reliability in financing and production.

FIT was completely appropriate in stating his opinion and remained so after your unabashed attack on him and anyone else who sees possible issues with Airbus.

T


By helios220 on 10/8/2007 1:06:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Someone who really would have been "on the team that was developing the network system for the A400" would never say something like this. It sounds more like a typical bashing attempt by someone who has not the slightest idea what he is talking about.


I've worked on several Airbus fixed wing programs including the KC-30 (militarized A330 derivative) among others, and several other EADS programs including a few for Eurocopter. Just because you've done some work for a particular project or platform doesn't mean you have to love them. I personally don't care for Airbus but I'll still do my best to ensure the success of my projects. Work is work, you don't have to like it you just have to do it.

I'm not trying to validate FITCamaro's claim, but the whole you wouldn’t bash it if you worked on it argument is far from universally true.


By FITCamaro on 10/8/2007 1:22:37 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't really trying to bash the whole project. The majority of the guys I worked with were great and perfectly competent. But there were a few who were only there since the interview process was so poor. And it only takes one to cause big mistakes to be made. Just have to hope that after I left (which wasn't because of the project but that I hated the city I lived in) those few were fired.


By helios220 on 10/8/2007 1:41:59 PM , Rating: 3
In terms of project bashing I wasn't really speaking of you in particular, just that it occurs in general. When I worked at Northrop Grumman on KC-30 I worked with people who disliked Airbus (to say the least) and some whom were adamantly opposed to the KC-30 project in general, i.e. major US military contract going to EADS via NGC.

All that being said however, nothing is as simple or clear these days as it used to be, there is and will continue to be European involvement in the US aviation sector and I've personally worked on many projects out of the US that were for the European sector.

Neither Boeing nor Airbus are the brilliant infallible companies that they are sometimes made out to be but that being said I've seen nothing in Eckstein's tone to lead me to believe he has anything credible to say other than repeating the same nationalistic fanaticism that presents itself on both sides of this debate.


By weskurtz0081 on 10/8/2007 1:43:29 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm, you obviously don't know many engineers or have never worked on a project. Often times the engineer knows what is best to implement, but they are FORCED to take short cuts for a various number of reasons. I have been involved with projects on different air frames, and some times you just have to call your baby ugly.

Also, AB has had some problems with software in the past. Not saying it's all AB's fault, but the final responsibility lies on them.


By timbro on 10/8/2007 3:27:29 PM , Rating: 2
you said rubbish. you must be english and your words carry less weight cause you are obviously biased towards airbus. but yet i still agree with you ;D


RE: Regional pride evident in both the 787 and A380
By bhieb on 10/8/2007 12:21:21 PM , Rating: 1
I am real proad to of the US developed plane, but I am also quite concerned with the all composite body. As this article (and an interview with Dan Rather that I watched) points out, it is not always better.

http://airlineworld.wordpress.com/2007/09/24/boein...

Now I don't buy into all the fire and emergency landing problems, as those are pretty rare and deadly anyway. What concerns me most is "any damages are harder to see and visually locate". I believe that they will be as safe or safer than any other aircraft originally, but composites can form microscopic cracks over time. I don't think the airlines will invest in the technology to properly catch these micro cracks until a plan crashes, and they are forced to.


RE: Regional pride evident in both the 787 and A380
By ebakke on 10/8/2007 12:25:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and an interview with Dan Rather that I watched


I watched Dan Rather once ... and then he got fired.


RE: Regional pride evident in both the 787 and A380
By bhieb on 10/8/2007 12:35:25 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but now he is on HD net Dan Rather Reports. It is actually pretty good, no faux news "Britney does something stupid...". Fairly well balanced (althought none of them are totally balanced), and seems to cater to more important global issues rather than they other crap news that the mainstream media seems to thrive on.


By bhieb on 10/8/2007 12:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
Just goes to show you I will watch anything in HD (wish there were more content).


By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 10/8/2007 12:39:27 PM , Rating: 2
I'd have to say out of the surviving "Old News" casters, Ran Rather is kind of high on my list of still respected people. He screwed up once, big time, and since then he's been very candid about the inner workings of the industry. Even given his past mistakes, I think the fact that he speaks openly about the dismal place media is in right now deserves respect enough.


By theapparition on 10/8/2007 1:03:20 PM , Rating: 2
Dan Rather took the crap, but all he does is read off a teleprompter. He only reports the news that has been approved by the station.

I don't have much of an opinion of him either way, but I do find it disconserting that he smiles at all the wrong moments.


By Oregonian2 on 10/8/2007 1:51:09 PM , Rating: 2
I used to agree until his recent lawsuit. That lawsuit makes him a buffoon and destroys the substantial (albeit tarnished) respectability that he had before in my eyes.


By FITCamaro on 10/8/2007 12:38:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
composites can form microscopic cracks over time


So can metal.


By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 10/8/2007 12:40:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't think the airlines will invest in the technology to properly catch these micro cracks until a plan crashes, and they are forced to.

They use the same x-ray technology to detect fissures in metal. I think this is a non-issue.


By Misty Dingos on 10/8/2007 12:56:35 PM , Rating: 2
They use ultrasound to detect cracks and delamintations in composite structures. I am not sure how they would do this on the scale of a large section of aircaft. Like the body. There is also messy as a sound conducting agent (ask anyone who has had an ultrasound) is placed between the tranducer and the object being imaged. That is a lot of slimy stuff on your shiny new plane. I hope it isn't corrosive, conductive, hazardous, or just plain bad smelling.


By theapparition on 10/8/2007 1:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
Industrial Ultra sounds don't need conductive gel, since they work at different frequencies and can use much higher power.


By theapparition on 10/8/2007 12:59:17 PM , Rating: 2
This is not new science either. Plenty of miliatary craft have been made with percentages far higher than 50%. And this has been going on for over 50 years. As Kris mentioned, this is a non-issue. The tests and procedures (and most importantly-quality inspection) are well established.

This is just the first application for a commercial airliner.

Just more typical reporting. Do they need to rig explosives on the Dreamliner's fuel tanks too? Why not, worked for NBC, and despite the fiasco that followed, NBC enjoyed some of its best ratings ever.


RE: Regional pride evident in both the 787 and A380
By bhieb on 10/8/2007 1:09:36 PM , Rating: 2
True, but military grade composite and commercial are probably not the same. And as a "first application for a commercial airliner" I don't expect it to be perfect, and unfortunately in aviation if it is not right planes crash.

All I am saying is that I am a little concerned. Nothing more.


By bhieb on 10/8/2007 1:12:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
if it is not right planes crash

Before you correct me obviously I meant planes can crash, not that any little mistake and they will.


By theapparition on 10/8/2007 2:04:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
All I am saying is that I am a little concerned. Nothing more.

Fair enough.

I doubt there's any differnce in the composites used. Mil grade is just a buzzword meaning that it meets certain criterea.
As for the design not being perfect, so me a design that is, especially one on a project of this scale. There were plenty of issues with the A380 without any major composite structure to worry about.
Now, I'd be very confident in the manufacture and quality of the delivered Dreamliner. Rarely are there issues that are caused in the factory, quality control is very tight in the aerospace industry.
What I don't know is the long term record. What if parts start delaminating? How will they check. This is the part that the airlines will have to change, their routine maintenence.


By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 10/8/2007 2:07:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
True, but military grade composite and commercial are probably not the same

They are the same


By Lightning III on 10/8/2007 1:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
right and there isn't a fleet of f/a 18 hornets at monmoth being canabalized with craked frames


By theapparition on 10/8/2007 1:53:11 PM , Rating: 3
And there's a junkyard full of Ford Pinto's too.
What does that prove?

What that means to me is that there is history. This is not the first time it done. I'm sure the designs have been tweeked since the Hornet was first designed in the early 70's. That's close to a 40 year old design. Advances in materials and polymers have come a long way. Computer simulation allows for pointing out high sress concentration points to allow strengthing and proper fiber orientation. Automated composite manufacture ensures consistant product.

Let's not get into the stress that that carrier landing does to a plane. The arresting wires put more shock on the frame than any other factors combined. And the Dreamliner won't have to go through any high g combat manuervering.

I think its a little different scenerio with the Dreamliner, don't you agree?


By weskurtz0081 on 10/8/2007 1:58:19 PM , Rating: 2
The Dreamliner is a little different than a figher that spends it's entire career landing on an aircraft carrier. Not to mention it was designed many decades ago.


RE: Regional pride evident in both the 787 and A380
By bhieb on 10/8/2007 1:03:11 PM , Rating: 2
My understanding (and it is limited). Is that the problem is not being able to visually check the composite. Yes cracks also form in metal, but usually they can see some stress visually. I doubt they x-ray the entire plane. More than likely they see a blimish and then x-ray to confirm the damage. According to the interview with Dan, the problem is that the damaged composite does not have any visual indicators (until the tail rips off that is).


By Oregonian2 on 10/8/2007 1:54:40 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't think one could see microcracks. I wonder of that nanotube goop coating reported on recently that auto-repairs microcracks would work on composites?


By weskurtz0081 on 10/8/2007 1:56:08 PM , Rating: 2
I would have to disagree about not having visual indicators. It might be a little more difficult to see the cracks, but you can see them if you inspect properly.


By weskurtz0081 on 10/8/2007 2:45:54 PM , Rating: 2
Probably should have said find, because you cannot always see them.


By Keeir on 10/8/2007 3:25:06 PM , Rating: 3

Here are some interesting facts.

#1. A crack will usually start in two places; A. on a manufacturing/maintenance defect that creates poor surface condition or B. on an Engineering error where a part does not have the right load or fatigue conditions applied. In this respect, A. is going to be far less likely to occur for the 787. Usual errors in composite manufacturing involve significant delamination of areas which are easily seen visually. Smaller areas of delamination can be inspected for by "tap" testing which is currently done for composite doors/areas.

#2. The majority of damage an aircraft sees in surface falls into two categories. A. Corrosion (much of which is not visual in metal) and B. Impact damage. Composite trade some resistance to Impact Damage for increased resistance to corrosion damage.

#3. Aircraft are designed to be resistant to large degrees of damage already. Usually the major factor in crashes (such as tails falling off) is unexpected load. IE, landing with the wrong approach vector will shear off most metal aircraft tails with no visual indicators.

#4. Boeing design of the 787 removed many many areas where there are significant fleet issues currently. The best example is fuselage lap joints. Those suckers are really sensitive to fatigue and damage. They don't exist on the 787.

In conclusion, sure, if Boeing could make a 787 out of Titanium it would be a safer aircraft, but that would be horribly expensive. Any serious risk based approach would put the 787 in the same category as the 777 or A380 (safer than the 737 and A320 which are the most commonly used aircraft).


787 vs 330 vs 380 debate is stupid
By Gul Westfale on 10/8/2007 1:59:34 PM , Rating: 3
i think the entire 787 vs 330 discussion is retarded. the 330 is an older plane, whereas the 787 is new. comparing them is kinda like comparing a core2 duo to an AMD K-6. furthermore, the new A380 is a huge twin-deck carrier, whereas the 787 is a single-deck long distance runner- once again, they don't really compete against each other.

as a german i'm happy to hear good news about airbus, but as a tech junkie and fan of big machines in general i'm just as happy when the good news involves a non-european company. the 787 may not be the "holy grail" of aviation (it's only a matter of time before more planes use higher percentages of composite materials; and fuel efficiency has been a design goal of aviation engineers since the very start of aviation), but it seems like a good step in the right direction. if it can make flying cheaper, yet more comfortable, then i'm all for it. go boeing!




RE: 787 vs 330 vs 380 debate is stupid
By aeroengineer1 on 10/8/2007 6:03:05 PM , Rating: 1
This debate is not really as dumb as you think. Using your computer debate it becomes clearer. If I own a Pentium 4 running at a clock speed of say 2GHz for a desktop(it represents the A330), and I am looking for a replacement, I am not going to look at the AMD offering that was meant to compete with the P4 2GHz, but I am going to be looking at current products. Now I need to look at my usage, the A380 could be compared to a new Core2Duo Quad core and say an AMD FX60 for the 787. This is not the best example, but it will serve the job. Both are high end products, but the core speeds of the multicore processors are relatively the same. One could say that the quad core can do more than the dual core, but if your computing needs are just the standard home computer, then the dual core might fit you better because it will cost less, but nonetheless it will outperform the single core P4 that you currently have. If you are running computational, professional programs that can use parallel processes, and you are running enough of them, then the quad core might be your better option despite the higher cost because it will get your jobs done faster.

The reason that Boeing and Airbus compare the 787 and the A380 is that it was the difference in opinions about the way that passengers would travel. Airbus bet on the fact that there would be large volumes of passengers flying to major hubs and then hopping a smaller plane and getting to their destination. Boeing bet on a more direct point to point style. It appears that Boeing has an edge, though there will be some flying to major hubs that will require the A380, it seems that point to point is winning out. So if you are a large airline that currently has the A330 and you are debating to change your business model then you would be looking at the A380. If you are looking to retain your business model, then you are going with the 787 or the A350. The ability of the A380 of becoming profitable is under heavy debate as it will need to sell over 400 units, which they are still below 200 sales, and I have heard some estimates of over 500. The 787 has already paid for itself once the deliveries of the aircraft on the order books are delivered.

The


RE: 787 vs 330 vs 380 debate is stupid
By Gul Westfale on 10/8/2007 7:24:56 PM , Rating: 2
yes i understand that there is a difference of opinion between boeing and airbus, wit the former making the longer distance 878, and the latter the bigger 380. however, an airline that would be interested in buying one wouldn't be interested in buying the other, at least not for use on the same routes. that is how i meant they don't compete against each other, because airlines buy them for entirely different reasons.


RE: 787 vs 330 vs 380 debate is stupid
By aeroengineer1 on 10/8/2007 7:47:19 PM , Rating: 3
While the aircraft are not direct competitors, their approach to the needs on aviation is the competition. These are the flagship aircraft of both companies, and while the 787 is making Boeing money, the A380 is dragging the EADS/Airbus down. Each plane represents a competition of strategies. This is why you will notice that Boeing's answer to the A380 was a low budget revision of the 747, and its development came after the 787; while Airbus did not think that Boeing's 787 was going to offer much competition, the decided to offer much later the A350 as a low budget revision of the A330/340. When it was not selling and Boeing was gaining market share back at a very fast rate, they redesigned the A350. Then Udvar-Hazey made his criticisms of the A350 and they redeveloped it again. It is not on its 3 major iteration and who know what the minor revision level of the design it.

The A380 and the 787 are competitors, not in terms of range and payload, but in terms of strategy. They represent the best offering that both Airbus and Boeing had to offer.


RE: 787 vs 330 vs 380 debate is stupid
By Gul Westfale on 10/8/2007 7:57:11 PM , Rating: 2
the best, yes- but in different segments of the market. the 350 is airbus' direct competitor to the 787. and as you said, it has failed to meet expectations. boeings competitor for the 380 is the aging 747, which they decided not to replace because they think the market will favor smaller, long distance planes, like the 787.


By weskurtz0081 on 10/8/2007 8:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
They might not be replacing it but they are releasing an updated version of the 747.... the 800 model.


RE: 787 vs 330 vs 380 debate is stupid
By aeroengineer1 on 10/8/2007 9:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps it is a language barrier, but the market strategies of Airbus and Boeing are in direct competition. Their aircraft to fill those strategies are not in direct competition, but nonetheless are the current aircraft that are the flagships of the company. You must understand that the debate is not "stupid" as you have stated, but is the very reason why Airbus has taken about a 5-10 year setback and Boeing is riding high. This competition of ideas is embodied in the A380 and the 787 aircraft. Had the Airbus' market prediction been correct and Boeing's not, then Airbus would be riding high, instead, the company has lost a major portion of its value and has had to sell off many of its assets to stem the losses.

It boils down to this; let's say that you and I were both about to develop ice cream (imagine that ice cream has not yet been invented). You think that vanilla is the flavor that everybody will like and I think that it will be purely chocolate. You and I invest the same amount to develop our secret recipes and make the same investment in equipment. It is very well known that chocolate and vanilla are very different flavors, and as such one might not think them direct competitors as vanilla bean and french vanilla might be. We have different ideas about the market and have developed very different solutions to the market. We start selling our very different products at the same time, and while they are both ice cream, your flavor takes off and mine does not. You gain market share and I loose it. So to stem my losses I develop french vanilla, and you in a bid to stop me flat in my tracks develop a version of your ice cream that does not require a major redesign by adding chips of chocolate to your vanilla. I have had to do two product development cycles with little cash and you did one and a half cycles and have a great cash flow. You would represent Boeing and I would represent Airbus in this example. Vanilla would be the 787 and chocolate would be the A380. Chocolate chip would be the 747-800 and french vanilla would be the A350. (Can you tell I am hungry?) I hope this helps you understand why it is important to see the debate between the A380 and the 787.


By Gul Westfale on 10/8/2007 10:00:22 PM , Rating: 2
the reason i think it's stupid is because the planes are different. i know boeing and airbus have different strategies. if BMW decided to make smaller cars that go faster and mercedes made bigger, slower ones, then the two companies would be competing against each other, but their cars would not. you cannot say that BMW is better than mercedes because they sell more 3-series than mercedes sells S-classes.

if airline A wants a long distance runner it will look at the boeing 787 and the airbus A350, and if they want a larger plane then it's a competition between the 747 and the 380.

i know what you mean though; you are saying that one can measure each company's success by looking at which one of their new planes gets the most sales, and thus which one predicted the market correctly and developed the right product for it.


Late breaking news, DELAYED
By ChipDude on 10/10/2007 12:25:21 PM , Rating: 2
I never understand why companies keep the course in public when things are mess and its clear things are going to be late.

Today Boeing annouced a slip. Why would I not be surprised that it won't be the first of many.

I expect they will hit the first delivery but every other deliver will push.




RE: Late breaking news, DELAYED
By ChipDude on 10/10/2007 12:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
Here is the new blurb. I think these large manufactures are really underestimating the complexity as they move to more integrated electronics and complex materials.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/071010/boeing_787.html?.v=...


On Government subsidies...
By Dfere on 10/9/2007 8:17:57 AM , Rating: 2
A day late and 100 posts short....... wow.

Just to add to Ringold's posts above. From 15 years being a tax CPA I can tell you from personal observation -all subsidies and grants, both individual and large corporate, lead to various inefficiencies. Just because smaller grants are harder to measure by a college study or thesis does not mean they do not occur. From the Earned Income Credit or mortgage interest deduction on a person's taxes, to Enterprize Zone credits and government grants or local tax abatements, people and businesses react the same. They expect to continue receiving it, year after year.

Bottom Line: People want the same tax breaks, or hell even expect the same refund each year, despite changing financial (and social) behavior. This leads to various personal inefficiencies (e.g. people do not consider their withholding rates greatly when facing life changes and face cash shortages). Companies expect, or project, the same operating conditions with respect to any grant or abatement despite the same (several types of inefficiencies there). And stock analysts, NEVER, factor subsidies into a company's reported profit (thus often times highly protected industries are not only highly inefficient, but the market also fails to price them correctly). Which at some point will "correct".

I am not against subsidies in certain areas, only long term, and when used for or as a result of a political process which does not benefit the people who are paying for the subsidy (for example to support a local business who supported the current local government in elections as opposed to a local government trying to grow a new industrial base). Unfortunately, IMO, it is the politically motivated subsidy which tends to be the biggest, and most long term.




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