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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.

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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. :)

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