Print 51 comment(s) - last by kmmatney.. on Mar 6 at 11:45 PM

UPS follows FedEx in canceling A380 freighter orders

In November of last year, DailyTech reported that FedEx cancelled its order for 10 A380-800F freighters and instead went with 15 Boeing 777s. The cancellation notice left UPS as the sole customer for Airbus' A380-800F.

Today, we learn that UPS has also decided to back out and abandon the A380-800F. "Based on our previous discussions, we had felt that 2012 was a reasonable estimate of when Airbus could supply this plane," said UPS president David Abney. "We no longer are confident that Airbus can adhere to that schedule."

UPS had 10 planes on order with the option to purchase 10 additional planes from Airbus, but it looks as though Boeing's 747 may be the next best alternative for the shipping company. "It almost spells the demise for that cargo business, because the alternative to the 380 is the (Boeing) 747," said Chris Lozier, an analyst for Morningstar. "You would expect UPS to be at the negotiating table with Boeing right now, if not weeks ago, working out details for the 747."

The news comes just a week after Airbus announced that it was cutting 10,000 jobs. In addition, French unions plan to strike next week in response to the job cuts and German Airbus workers may also join in.

Airbus' A380 program has been plagued with number setbacks, most notably due to problems wiring the large aircraft.

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RE: Great news for techs
By Griswold on 3/2/2007 4:11:46 PM , Rating: 2
So you've been working on the very first, and a modification of the very first Airbus plane. Interesting indeed. Can you also comment on the quality of the very first Boeing jets? Or the A320, A330 and A340 in all their variations?

RE: Great news for techs
By alifbaa on 3/2/2007 4:32:37 PM , Rating: 2
I still fly the very first Boeing jets, the 135 series, predecessor to the 707. The build quality is top-notch, and even then was far better than its competition, the British built DeHaviland Comet. The jets are still going strong, although as you'd probably expect from a 50 year old design, time has passed it by as advances have been made. For what is essentially the first large jet, they did a fantastic job, and that is an indisputable fact. The reality, of course, is that anything as complex as a large aircraft will have some design problems. Most will be fixed easily, some will nag it throughout its life. Overall, I'd say Boeing does a very good job today, and always has. Airbus does too, but not quite as well.

Where Airbus goes wrong in its designs is that they tend to overemphasize individual design characteristics. For example, they want to save weight to increase payload. So they use small wire and composite tail sections and light-weight components everywhere their calculations say will stand up to the task. In practice, light-weight things tend to break, small wires are hard to work with, and under-designed composite tails have a nasty tendency to fatigue quickly or even snap off in flight. The result is increased maintenance costs, and decreased aircraft availability, which decreases revenue. When they are actually, flying they tend to be a bit more profitable though since they can carry more or carry the same with better fuel efficiency. I'm not sure you could point to one or the other and say "this is better in all instances." An operator likely winds up selecting one or the other based on the deal they get, just like you pick a Honda or a Toyota based on price since the pluses and minuses of each balance out to zero.

RE: Great news for techs
By EagleKeeper1 on 3/2/2007 5:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
The B-52 is still flying combat missions and still has a good "OR" rate. The F-15 has been flying for 35 yrs as a front line operational combat aircraft. The aircraft was designed so well that one has landed without a wing. Thanks to the differential stab,aerodynamic lifting fuselage and damn good pilot skills. We are still flying 727-100's that were built in 1963. They are still very reliable. The strength of the Boeing and Douglas aircraft is the semi-monocoque structure. Not so with the Bus. When you enter the Avionics bay or the empennage the entire fuselage is trussed like a house. The overuse of relays is bazaar. The F-15 was so much more complex then the bus with so many more systems yet it had a relay board that was only 4 sq ft. The bus has to have 500 relays.Guess what happens? Individual contacts stick and an entire systems goes down. The only hope you have other than spending days trying to troubleshoot the faulty relay is to do the famous bus reboot. Shut down the entire aircraft for 5 minutes then boot everthing back up. Use the 5 minutes while the crew is yelling at you for dumping the INU's to pray that it reboots. The hydraulic lines are swaged instead of using unions. So now when the line leaks it has to be cut out with a sawsall. The cgcc [center of gravity system] fails all the time. You end up with fuel stuck in the tail. A pitch trim controller is so much more reliable. In another 20 minutes I have to go out and power up this Bus. Another crap shoot.

RE: Great news for techs
By Ringold on 3/3/2007 12:25:01 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm.. So, you get a system fault, try to figure out whats gone wrong, and end up giving it a solid kick, a reboot, and hope for the best.

Sounds like Windows 95 to me.

RE: Great news for techs
By EagleKeeper1 on 3/6/2007 5:36:22 PM , Rating: 2
Worse,,,,,,,Windows ME ! At least when 95 was around I could still get tech support with a tech that spoke the kings english. When they ask me to type a "B" I understood.They didn't have to say "B" as in bravo and they were troubleshooting from a technical background, not from a flow chart.

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