A380 delay - explanation

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There is an article in the Iht of today, shedding light on the announced delay of the A380 programme: http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/06/02/business/airbus.php A380 delay linked to a German parts plant By Don Phillips International Herald Tribune FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2005 PARIS The delay that Airbus has announced in delivery dates of its A380 jumbo jet is linked to production problems at one of its main parts plants in Germany, and not to safety or quality issues, people with knowledge of the project said Thursday. The Airbus plant in Hamburg failed to properly assemble some components, these people said, which will mean a delay of as much as six months in the assembly of the aircraft at the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France. The Hamburg production problems were not the only reason for the delay, announced Wednesday, but they aggravated the normal snags that often affect aircraft projects. As with other new aircraft, delays for the A380 have ranged from unforeseen testing issues to modifications of the plane's interior requested by customers. Some of the A380's main customers - including Singapore Airlines, Qantas of Australia and Dubai-based Emirates - have signaled that they may seek compensation from Airbus for the delay. A spokeswoman for Airbus, Debra Batson, declined to confirm or deny the reports of problems in Hamburg. "We are just reviewing our production schedule based on assessments from the factories and suppliers," she said. The problems had more to do with production misunderstandings or failures than with any safety or quality-related issues, the sources said, and the problems are not related to suppliers. "It's our very own factory in Germany," said one of the sources, an Airbus executive who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the project. One of the production problems involved large parts that arrived in Toulouse from Hamburg without the assembled wiring. The wiring harnesses are supposed to be fully assembled, connected and tested before the parts are shipped, but a number arrived with no harnesses in place. That meant that workers in Toulouse had to stop production and assemble and test the wiring, a process that could take hours or days. The Airbus sources also said that the delay was not related to problems with the aircraft's weight or performance. "The weight is on target, and performance is very much on target," the Airbus executive said, adding that test crews were pleased with the "beautiful" handling characteristics of the plane. Batson, the spokeswoman, also strongly denied persistent rumors that the A380 is too heavy. "I confirm that the weight is definitely not the problem," she said. Batson also said that some measure of delay should come as no surprise. Delays are common in major projects, she said, including with Boeing products, such as the new version of its jumbo jet, the 747-400. Also, she said, Airbus made public statements at the time of the A380's first flight on April 27 that delivery would be in the second half of 2006, not the first half as originally planned. Airbus executives in Toulouse who discussed the delay in April gave no reason other than normal testing delays. Richard Aboulafia, vice president of the Teal Group, a consulting firm in Fairfax, Virginia, said any problem with the Hamburg plant should be short-lived. "Hamburg has a lot of experience," he said. "I can't imagine the problem won't be resolvable." He also said he had no concerns about production delays, agreeing that they are common to every aircraft project. His firm already is predicting a nine-month delay in production of Boeing's new plane, the 787. But he said he remained suspicious that the A380 has a weight problem, no matter what Airbus says. The A380 delays could not come at a worse time for the aircraft maker. Airbus is entangled in a high-stakes fight with Boeing over subsidies, and company officials have acknowledged that Boeing may sell more planes than Airbus this year for the first time since 2000. On Wednesday in Frankfurt, Hans Peter Ring, chief financial officer of European Aeronautic Defense & Space, the parent of Airbus, told Reuters that Boeing may get more orders than Airbus this year. "We can live with a situation where we would have been less than 50 percent in '05," Ring said, referring to the split of orders between Airbus and Boeing. The company and EADS are also embroiled in a French-German tussle over the company's management structure. A plan to promote Gustav Humbert, a German, to Airbus chief executive was delayed Wednesday, indicating that neither country had decided the issue. The current president, Noël Forgeard, scheduled for promotion to EADS joint chief executive, is leading a French effort to block Humbert.
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Profile picture for user Ja Worsley

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Hmmmm, sounds implausable, I seriously doubt that germans would manufacture less an qualitive parts!
Profile picture for user fightingirish

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Airbus denies A380 delays linked to production problem at Hamburg plant IMHO, Airbus France and Airbus Germany are arguing, which plant should take over the responsibility for the delay. It's has also more to do with the new Airbus CEO's.
HAMBURG (AFX) - Airbus has denied a press report that the delay in delivery dates of its A380 superjumbo is linked to production problems at one of its German plants and not to safety or quality issues. "That (the press report) is not right," said Arndt Hellmann, a spokesman for Airbus' German operations. "We delivered our (aircraft) parts to Toulouse on time." Earlier, the International Herald Tribune, citing sources, reported that the Airbus plant in Hamburg failed to properly assemble some components, which will mean a delay of as much as six months in the assembly of the aircraft at the Airbus factory in Toulouse. The Hamburg production problems are not the only reason for the delay, which Airbus announced Wednesday, but they aggravated the normal snags that often affect aircraft projects, the newspaper added. Copyright AFX News Limited 2005. All rights reserved.
Sources: AFX News - Airbus denies A380 delays linked to production problem at Hamburg plant spiegel.de - Werke streiten über Schuld beim Zeitverzug
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First b**ching at potential customers... now inhouse blame b**ching. LOL!
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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v333/sgt_schlappy/avatar-munchingpopcorn.gif

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Thia is going slightly off-topic but there has been speculation by Boeing that the A380 wont be profitable but only time will tell.
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Rule #1 - the EU is wonderful Rule #2 - Airbus is even more wonderful Rule #3 - Airbus is never wrong Rule #4 - If it is, it's the Germans' fault
Let's not induce more arguments :) Moderator
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Thia is going slightly off-topic but there has been speculation by Boeing that the A380 wont be profitable but only time will tell.
Wow thats a shock! Boeing aren't exactly going to say that the A380 is going to be a huge success are they?
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Let's not induce more arguments :) Moderator
So why don't you stop this other kind of argument?

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Thia is going slightly off-topic but there has been speculation by Boeing that the A380 wont be profitable but only time will tell.
Boeing believes that the A380 only makes sense if airlines retain a classic hub and spoke route system, which they think is unsustainable due to long range medium twins like the 777 and 787 making it possible for airlines to fly more direct point to point routes. If Boeing are correct, then I doubt that Airbus will sell enough A380s to ever earn a reasonable return on their investment, if indeed it does make a profit on them. Certainly the Australian market is going pretty much down the Boeing path. Even from small cities like Canberra (300,000 people) you can now get direct 737 flights to most locations - including to resorts in the tropical North of the country some 2500km away. There is simply no need to go to a major hub like Sydney first except for one or two destinations, such as Perth (3,000+ km to the west). Traffic between Australia and New Zealand is also fragmenting. Kiwi's coming to Australia for holidays can now catch direct flights from all major NZ ciities to all of Australia's major east coast tourist desinations. A few years ago they would have had to route through Sydney or Brisbane. I have to admit that I view Airbus's recent attempt to pressure Japan into buying its aircraft as a sign that its worried about slow orders for the A380 compared to very brisk sales of the 787. Remember the 787 was only announced a year or so ago, while the A380 has had years to accumulated its 120 orders.
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I think the A380 may make a little money for Airbus. I don't see it ever reaching the 1000 airframes Airbus like to claim. 400 to 500 I think will be the absolute limit I think. Coincidentaly, that is the rumoured break even point.
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Airbus needs 'several years' to hit A380 delivery schedule BLOOMBERG NEWS Wednesday, June 15, 2005 LE BOURGET, France -- Airbus will take "several years" to meet the delivery schedule it originally laid out for its giant A380 airplane after delays resulting from wiring and weight issues, the company's chief operating officer said yesterday. "The delays will run over a couple of years," Gustav Humbert, Airbus chief operating officer, said at a Paris Air Show briefing yesterday. Humbert said there were three main causes: problems with wiring for passenger entertainment systems; complexities in designing different cabin interiors for each airline; and grappling with weight issues. Airbus is still discussing the situation with customers, and he wouldn't provide a figure for penalties. Airbus said earlier this month that it's facing a six-month delay in delivering the first A380s to customers such as Singapore Airlines Ltd., Qantas Airways Ltd. and Air France-KLM Group. The plane will be the world's largest airliner. ~LINK~
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I would still wait for a further xplaination and details..however these things happen with industry projects that are so huge in size(quite litererally).
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Airbus details A380's production issues Flight International 21-June-05 Airbus expects it will take “a couple of years” to eliminate the backlog of delays to A380 deliveries as it clarifies the reasons behind last month’s decision to push back the production schedule for the ultra-large aircraft by up to six months. Confirming that deliveries have slipped by “between two and six months”, Airbus chief executive Noel Forgeard blames the delay on the programme’s “very tight” schedule: “We knew full well that this would be hard to match…maybe we’ve been a little bold in making public our internal target without buffers,” he says. The delay varies, “depending on the individual situation of each customer, who we are in the process of informing”, says Forgeard, adding: “The objective remains to deliver the first aircraft to launch operator Singapore Airlines in the latter part of 2006.” Airbus chief operating officer Gustav Humbert says that “the first couple of years of deliveries will be impacted” and attributes the delay to two main problems – the weight-saving effort and electrical wiring. “We had a major weight-watcher programme, which meant that we had to reconstruct some parts of the structure,” he says, adding that this effort has been completed and “fully achieved its target”. Humbert says that there are “more varieties of cable looms and systems as customers have specified more complex cabins than anticipated. This will be under control in the next two months as we now have the definitions of the first customers.” He adds that the problems are not related to any specific “country or a team” within the Airbus organisation.