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.

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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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