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Old July 27th, 2010, 02:17 PM   #281
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GKN Aerospace wins contracts for composite flaps on A350 XWB

GKN has won two contracts for detailed composite parts for the inboard and outboard landing flaps of the Airbus A350 XWB. Production work will take place at GKN's Munich, Germany, facility.

GKN Aerospace (Isle of Wight, U.K.) announced on July 18 that it has won two new contracts for detailed parts for the inboard and outboard landing flaps of the Airbus A350 XWB. The inboard flap contract has been awarded by Airbus (Bremen, Germany), while the outboard flap contract has been awarded by Fokker Aerostructures. These contracts cover the manufacturing development and production of all composite components for both flaps. First components for developmental flaps will be delivered early in 2011.

GKN Aerospace is already contracted to provide the rear spars and fixed trailing edge assemblies for the A350 XWB wings — also complex composite structures.

Development and production work for these flaps will take place at the GKN Aerospace facility in Munich, Germany, where a second automated tape laying (ATL) machine has been installed to support A350 XWB production in the coming years. The Munich team already supplies the composite components for the A330/A340 landing flaps and a range of flap products for A320 and A380.

Phil Swash, president and CEO, Aerostructures, Europe at GKN Aerospace, comments: "These new contracts extend our growing reputation as a key tier-one supplier of major composite and metallic wing structures and assemblies to the aerospace primes. They also grow our global partnership with Airbus and extend our developing and very promising relationship with Fokker Aerostructures."

GKN Aerospace has been supplying composite products for wings to Airbus since the development of the A320 family of aircraft. The company supplies items such as the full set of composite flap components for the A330/A340, the large and complex wing trailing edge for the A380 and the all-composite wing spar and wing trailing edge for the A400M.


http://www.compositesworld.com/news/...ps-on-a350-xwb
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Old August 1st, 2010, 07:38 PM   #282
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Airbus A350XWB Delay Rumours Gather Pace

Based on previous intelligence and the general slow pace of movement on the program, coupled with margins being consumed, the A350XWB appears more likely than not to be delayed.

This French source surmises a delay of anywhere between 12-18 months based on industry sources, claiming that even a 2013 year-end delivery would still be “a great achievement.”

The industry has almost come to expect delays as par for the course – how bad an A350XWB delay would or could be is paced by the time the program is set back by. For the moment, Airbus dismisses the allegations of delays on the program as it deals with another headache related to the funding of the airplane in the wake of the final WTO ruling issued late last month.

Looking back at the last (and current) victim of commercial delays, the 787, is what we’ve seen on that program indicative of what we’ll see on the A350XWB?

Denial and then delay?

Almost certainly. But this is one program Airbus can ill afford to have slide since the financial pressure on parent EADS is already a bug bear with the financial failures in the A400M and A380.

http://www.arabiansupplychain.com/ar...s-gather-pace/
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Old August 4th, 2010, 07:12 PM   #283
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Cathay Pacific Airways has signed a letter of intent to purchase 30 Airbus A350-900 aircraft, and plans to exercise purchase rights for six Boeing 777-300ERs.

The total value of the aircraft purchases is about HK$75 billion ($9.7 billion) at list price, says the Oneworld carrier. The A350s, to be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, have a catalogue price of about $7.8 billion. The General Electric-powered 777s have a list price of $1.6 billion.

Cathay expects the A350s to be delivered between 2016 and 2019. The A350-900, which will enter service in 2013, will "form the backbone of Cathay Pacific's future mid-sized wide-body fleet", says the carrier.

It will operate the aircraft across its route network, including on non-stop flights to Europe and North America.

"The A350-900 is a perfect fit for the development of our fleet - a mid-size long-haul aircraft that is fuel efficient, environmentally friendly, and provides the kind of capacity, range and operating economics that we need to complement and enhance our existing fleet," says Cathay's CEO Tony Tyler.

"The delivery schedule fits our requirements very neatly. The 30 new aircraft will be deployed to replace older aircraft and grow our fleet to meet the challenges of the future."

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-six-777s.html
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Old August 5th, 2010, 12:46 AM   #284
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Cathay Pacific Airways has signed a letter of intent to purchase 30 Airbus A350-900 aircraft, and plans to exercise purchase rights for six Boeing 777-300ERs.

The total value of the aircraft purchases is about HK$75 billion ($9.7 billion) at list price, says the Oneworld carrier. The A350s, to be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, have a catalogue price of about $7.8 billion. The General Electric-powered 777s have a list price of $1.6 billion.

Cathay expects the A350s to be delivered between 2016 and 2019. The A350-900, which will enter service in 2013, will "form the backbone of Cathay Pacific's future mid-sized wide-body fleet", says the carrier.

It will operate the aircraft across its route network, including on non-stop flights to Europe and North America.

"The A350-900 is a perfect fit for the development of our fleet - a mid-size long-haul aircraft that is fuel efficient, environmentally friendly, and provides the kind of capacity, range and operating economics that we need to complement and enhance our existing fleet," says Cathay's CEO Tony Tyler.

"The delivery schedule fits our requirements very neatly. The 30 new aircraft will be deployed to replace older aircraft and grow our fleet to meet the challenges of the future."

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-six-777s.html
why they prefer A359 to B787.......because of shorter range for B787?
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Old August 5th, 2010, 03:59 AM   #285
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why they prefer A359 to B787.......because of shorter range for B787?

Because CX always prefer the larger ones of the same class of aircrafts. I won't be surprised to see part of the order be changed to -1000 type in the end.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 04:07 AM   #286
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Because CX always prefer the larger ones of the same class of aircrafts. I won't be surprised to see part of the order be changed to -1000 type in the end.
either i think so , but 787 are most expensive than A359.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 02:58 PM   #287
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^

acording to wikipedia:

A350-800: $208.7 million
A350-900: $240.6 million
A350-1000: $269.6 million

787-8: US$161.0–171.5 million
787-9: US$194.0–205.5 million

So the a350's are a bit more expensive than the 787. But then again, the a350 is larger than the 787.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 06:19 PM   #288
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Those are list prices? Airlines can negotiate significant discounts, which are rarely publicized.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 09:05 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by CPHbane View Post
why they prefer A359 to B787.......because of shorter range for B787?
Well, there could be lots of factors. IMO, the 3 primary factors would be capacity, range and fuel efficiency. But also other factors such as available maintenance facilities, historical links with the company, availability of credit facilities, etc.

I suppose they prefer the bigger size of the A350. Also the question could be turned the other way round...why should they prefer the 787? I personally believe airlines would prefer the stretched version of the 787 to the current one. Airbus wisely went for the the -900 first rather than -800.
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Old August 6th, 2010, 12:42 AM   #290
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Most big airlines have Airbus and Boeing planes, it must be in their own interest to divide their orders between both manufactures. This order from Cathay is for Airbus, the next big one could be for Boeing. Keep both manufactures happy to get the all discounts in the future.
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Old August 6th, 2010, 04:11 AM   #291
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Some speculate that KA will go for 787-9, but I doubted due to logistics and the benefits of compatibility with CX fleet.
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Old August 6th, 2010, 05:30 PM   #292
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Here's a possible analysis of the situation (from the GLG group).

Boeing Caught Napping On Airbus A350XWB?

Summary

The Airbus A350-900 is catching the eye of many existing 777-200/777-200ER operators – is Boeing even awake?

Analysis

No OEM can expect to win every order, especially when the customer insists on having both Airbus and Boeing as their supplier to keep pricing in check. Cathay Pacific’s decision to opt for the A350-900, while a great notch on the bedpost for Airbus, is one that Boeing will have to sit and think long and hard about and the reasons why it didn’t win.

Airlines clamoured for the 777-200ER in the mid-1990s as the rush towards long range twins relegated the MD11 and A340 into the abyss and now we’re seeing the same again with the A350-900. Just as Airbus has ceded much of one market to the 787, Boeing is doing the same with the 777-200ER – and lets not forget, 777-200ERs in service today aren’t wholesale going to be dumped just because the A350-900 arrives.

Granted, it’s a little heavier and less fuel efficient in contrast, but that the 777-200LR couldn’t even sway Cathay Pacific, even with earlier deliveries and heightened commonality with the expanding 777-300ER fleet speaks volumes.

Is Boeing going to stay asleep on this?

They cant afford to, even from a competitive standpoint but equally rushing into a new 777 replacement would cannibalise prospective sales away from the 787-9 (which itself is almost identical in size to the 777-200ER and A350-900) as well as kill the business case for the 787-10, which many airlines have hope Boeing will build.

It is inevitable that the 787-9 will be configured closer to 250-280 seats for long haul operations – perhaps within 7-10% of total seating capacity we may see on the A350-900, so it is surprising that Boeing is not pushing the 787-9 harder.

The inherent drawback is that the 787 supply chain and production line is still fraught with risk. Even assuming a bear case scenario where the 787-9 enters service on time in late 2013, the challenge to ramp up to 10 units per month on two assembly lines is risky and availability as well as a heavily swollen backlog is now pushing customers to the A350XWB as well as that airplane winning campaigns down to its own merits.

Boeing clearly doesn’t want to replace the 777 family just yet when the 777-30ER is still winning orders and the A350-1000 is not. There are still many technical hurdles the entire A350XWB family has to go through before Boeing responds directly. For now, the 787-9 and 777-200LR are suitors and need to be marketed a lot harder than Boeing has done at present and a complete 777 replacement will only come about if the A350-1000 makes good on its performance and service entry deadlines – neither of which look likely at present.

If Boeing updates the 777-300ER with elements like a new wing, lighter cabin fittings and improved engines - all of that can be throw backwards to the 777-200ER as well and would provide a relative cheap alternative to an all new airplane while still providing a compelling product for airlines to ponder over.

Will Boeing continue to lose out on further sales – absolutely, but so will Airbus and both know that they can’t win everything all the time.

Boeing clearly sees more value in sticking with and updating the 777-300ER than it does with the smaller 777-200ER family, particularly when the 787 itself may yet grow as the production setup matures.

It’s a risky strategy but no more risky than the one Airbus employed when it stuck with the decrepit A340 family – its all swings and roundabouts…

http://www.glgroup.com/News/Boeing-C...WB--49881.html
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Old August 16th, 2010, 01:24 PM   #293
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Talks begin for huge order


Demand has been heavy for the A350XWB and deliveries may fall behind schedule.

Thai Airways International has begun talks with Airbus on the possibility of acquiring up to 30 of the next-generation A350XWB jets and six additional A380 superjumbos.

THAI president Piyasvasti Amranand and Jean-Jacques Boissin, Airbus's Southeast Asia sales director, separately confirmed the discussions. If a sale materialises, it may represent the largest aircraft order in the 50-year history of the flag carrier.

The aircraft would cost US$9.12 billion on the open market, though Airbus tends to offer deep discounts to compete with US rival Boeing on major orders.

Airbus is pushing for orders of the new high-capacity jets as part of THAI's ongoing fleet renewal programme as it replaces ageing jets with planes that offer more advanced features and better fuel efficiency to appeal to customers.

According to a draft plan presented to THAI's board earlier, by 2026 the airline expects to have a fleet of 102 aircraft with an average age of 7.5 years.

Currently there are 88 planes in THAI's fleet with an average age of 11.5 years, compared to competitors such as Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific whose aircraft are six to seven years old.

Mr Boissin believes THAI needs thirty A350s over the next decade to replace the A340s, Boeing B777-200ERs and B777-300ERs it uses on long-haul routes.

Airbus also wants to sell THAI another six double-decker A380s beyond the six units already ordered and due for delivery in 2012 and 2013 to operate primarily on European routes.

"We are absolutely sure that THAI needs at least twice as many [A380s]," said Mr Boissin, though THAI executives did not comment.

But THAI is interested in the 900 and 1000 versions of the long-range, mid-size, wide-body A350 which boasts advanced technology and fuel efficiency.

Priced at $240 million, the A350-900 seats 314 passengers in a three-class cabin layout. It has a standard range target of 15,000 km.

The 900 version will debut in 2013 with the first aircraft going to Qatar Airways, to be followed by the 270-seat A350-800 ($208 million) in 2014. An even larger variant with 350 seats, the A350-1000, is scheduled to enter service in late 2015, according to Airbus.

However, Airbus may not be able to deliver the A350s to potential new customers soon enough due to a large order backlog, now at 530 planes from 33 customers, including Bangkok Airways which ordered four new jets.

"We are a victim of our own success. So we have to reorganise to improve production capacity," said Mr Boissin.

The earliest that Airbus could deliver the first A350 to THAI is 2017, he pointed out.

The A350 was designed to compete with Boeing's hot-selling 787 Dreamliner, which is running more than two years behind schedule. The US planemaker has already received more than 850 orders for the jet that will largely be made of composite materials.

The A350 will be the first Airbus plane with both fuselage and wing structures made largely of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic. Airbus claims the A350 will be more fuel efficient, with up to 8% lower operating costs than the B787.

Airbus projects demand for 5,000 aircraft in the 250- to 300-seat category over the next two decades, a segment that includes the A350 and B787.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/...for-huge-order
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Old August 28th, 2010, 06:21 PM   #294
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Airbus A350 schedule reportedly sliding

Airbus is being coy in response to a report that it has cut production targets for its newest plane – the A350.

A French newspaper quoted Airbus sub-contractors as saying it will produce the planes at a slower pace than originally planned, building 10 of them in the first year of production compared to a previous target of 18.

An Airbus spokesman declined to comment on that and the planemaker’s Chief Operating Officer John Leahy would only say: “I am very comfortable that we will meet all our customer delivery commitments.”

Meanwhile its US rival Boeing has pushed back delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner by several weeks.

It said that was due to a delay in the availability of a Rolls-Royce engine needed for final flight testing.

Boeing now expects to deliver the carbon-composite plane to its first customer – Japan’s All Nippon Airways – early next year.

The 787 is already more than two years behind schedule.


http://www.euronews.net/2010/08/27/a...tedly-sliding/
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Old August 29th, 2010, 02:06 AM   #295
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looks like an awesome plane
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Old August 30th, 2010, 12:35 PM   #296
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Nice plane!
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Old September 9th, 2010, 03:42 PM   #297
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Airbus Opens New A350XWB Plant in Germany

Airbus has begun production of A350XWB components at a new manufacturing facility in Germany.

Measuring almost 32m by 6m, the upper wing shell will be the first German component and also the largest integrated component to be built by Airbus from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP).

The upper wing shells will be built using advanced production processes at the 30,000m˛ production hangars in Stade.

The plant will also manufacture the stringers (longitudinal stiffeners used in wing panels), vertical tailplanes and CFRP fuselage shells.

The A350 XWB is a new family of widebody airliners, which includes the A350-800, A350-900 and A350-1000, for which Airbus currently has 528 confirmed orders.

http://logisticsweek.com/air/2010/09...nt-in-germany/
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Old December 16th, 2010, 02:33 AM   #298
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Looks like the a350 XWB is shaping up to be a great plane.

Quote:
Airbus has started making the first carbon fibre barrel for the A350 XWB fuselage at the company’s production plant in Illescas, Spain. The carbon fibre placement process used for producing the 5.5 metre long, 56 square metre fuselage barrel, known as section 19, will be completed in the coming weeks.

The majority of the A350 XWB fuselage is made from long carbon fibre panels which are easier to manufacture and to assemble than barrel sections. However for the rear part of the fuselage which is tapered, Airbus has selected a barrel as being the optimum structure.

Designed and manufactured with the right material and the right technology at the right place, the A350 XWB will shape the efficiency of medium-to-long haul airline operations from 2013 onwards.

Quote:
Airbus partner, Spirit AeroSystems, has completed the curing of one of the panels that make up the longest section of the A350 XWB’s all carbon fibre fuselage. The 19.7 metre long, 77 square metre centre fuselage “crown” panel was cured at Spirit’s Kinston, North Carolina (USA) site. In the coming weeks, the panel will undergo trimming, drilling and non-destructive inspection.

This latest A350 XWB industrial milestone illustrates the sound progress being made as the first components for the first aircraft are being manufactured both at Airbus and Airbus’ partners’ sites around the globe. Another recent production achievement for the A350 XWB was the successful cure of the first forward fuselage section crown panel that took place in Nordenham (Germany) in September by Premium Aerotech.

Quote:
Spirit AeroSystems Inc., (NYSE:SPR - News) the world's largest independent supplier of commercial airplane assemblies and components, today shipped the first production leading edge spar component – an outer spar – for the Airbus A350 XWB program out of its Kinston, N.C., facility.

A leading edge spar is a wing component, part of the fixed leading edge, and comprises six major sections: inner, mid and outer for each wing. The outer spar shipped today is the first of the group to be produced by Spirit, and makes up about 8 percent of the total spar weight. It is approximately 11.5 meters in length. Spar components are made of 100 percent carbon fiber material, and all six combined weigh about one ton (1,000 kg).

The subsequent five spar sections will be shipped in the coming months.

"This is the first production component of any kind we've shipped out of our Kinston facility," said Tom Greenwood, Spirit's A350 XWB spar program director. "This first unit was built at our new, state-of-the-art facility using automated composite fabrication technology and the technical expertise of Spirit employees."

Each set of spars will be shipped from Spirit's Kinston facility to Spirit's European plant in Prestwick, Scotland, where it will be integrated into the fixed leading edge. From there, it will be delivered to the Airbus plant in Broughton, Wales, for integration into the wing box.

Spirit won a contract with Airbus in July 2008 to design and produce the A350 XWB's spar and fixed leading edge. Spirit is also designing and building the composite center fuselage section, Section 15, for the A350 XWB.


Last edited by future.architect; December 16th, 2010 at 03:18 AM.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 03:16 AM   #299
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Airbus is determined that no unforeseen problems will stall its latest airliner programme

With problems regarding the production of its A380 Superjumbo being overcome, production rates increasing, and more and more examples of the biggest airliner in the world entering revenue-generating service with a steadily lengthening list of airlines, European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is pushing ahead with its next widebody airliner programme: the A350 XWB. And there is a by no means insignificant South African connection with the programme.

In Pretoria, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is carrying out research and development work for Airbus. “The CSIR is playing a vital role in certain aspects of the A350 XWB,” explains Airbus South African spokesperson Linden Birns, “specifically, research into predicted aspects of the aircraft’s performance and in-flight characteristics.” For reasons of commercial confidentiality, no more details can be released.

The A350 XWB – the letters standing for eXtra Wide Body – will actually be a family of airliners, with three versions planned: the A350-800, -900 and -1000. The baseline A350 XWB is the 314-seat -900, which is expected to enter service in 2013; the 270-seat A350-800 should enter service in 2014 and the 350-seat -1000 in 2015.
(These seating figures assume a three-class cabin configuration in each case.)

The A350 XWB is intended to compete with Boeing’s latest airliner, the 787 Dreamliner, and to complement, and later replace, the Airbus A330 and A340. It replaced a previous A350 project (hence, the need for the suffix letters in the designation, which will presumably be dropped in due course) which failed to win the support of potential customer airlines and was eclipsed by the daring 787 design, which uses a higher proportion of composites than any previous airliner design. Composites save weight and thus reduce fuel expenditure, and 50% of the primary structure of the 787 is made up of composites (20% is aluminium, 15% titanium, 10% steel, and 5% ‘other’).

So Airbus went back to the drawing board and came up with, effectively, an entirely new design, with an even wider body than the original concept – hence, the XWB suffix.
Back in 2007, Airbus COO: customers John Leahy frankly admitted to reporters that “Boeing caught us napping”, with the 787. The European company’s first response was merely to propose re-engining its existing A330. “That didn’t work; so we came up with the A350 – that didn’t work; so now we have the A350 XWB,” he stated.

“On the design side, we’ve made many simplifications on this aircraft,” highlights Airbus vice-president: customer and business programme development François Caudron. “The fuel system is the simplest we’ve ever designed. There are many other examples.”
Thus, the A350 XWB cockpit will have only six large video screens, as against the ten small screens in the A380 cockpit.

The attractiveness of the new design is illustrated by the fact that, as of August 31, 2010, it had achieved 528 confirmed orders, from 33 customers, even though the prototype is not expected to make its first flight until 2012.

Composite Pedigree

Ironically, perhaps, it had been Airbus that had, for decades, been the world leader in the application of composites in the manufacture of airliner airframes. The company first employed composites to form secondary structures (such as the leading edges of the tail fins) in the A300B in 1972. Airbus first used composites to make primary structures on the A310, which first flew in 1982 and which had a carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) vertical tail. Since then, the company has steadily expanded its use of composites for the production of primary airframe structures.

With the A380, the proportion (by weight) of composites in the airframe reached 22%, the highest proportion of composites in an airliner up until that time. The rear pressure bulkhead, the entire tail cone, the horizontal tailplane, the vertical fin and the rudder are all made of carbon composite materials.

In answer to the 787, however, Airbus has dramatically increased the proportion of composites used in its new design. The A350 XWB airframe will be 52% composites, 20% aluminium and aluminium-lithium, 14% titanium, 7% steel, and 7% miscellaneous materials. Composites will be employed in the fuselage, the wings, the belly fairing and the empennage (vertical and horizontal tails); aluminium and aluminium-lithium in the fuselage frames, ribs, floor beams and landing gear bays; titanium in the leading gear, pylons and attachments, and steel mainly in the landing gear.

New buildings for the production or assembly of large A350 XWB components have been erected in France, Germany, Spain and the UK, and even in the US. These include the final assembly line for the aircraft in Toulouse, France; a dedicated A350 XWB fuselage assembly plant in Hamburg has been built and, at the Airbus complex at Broughton, in North Wales, a new factory for the pro- duction of the aircraft’s wing boxes. (Wing boxes are the main wing structures, excluding movable leading edge and trailing edge surfaces, such as flaps and ailerons.)

The lay-up of the first composites to be used in the assembly of the A350 XWB prototype was started on December 4, 2009, and the first metal for this aircraft was cut on March 5, 2010 (both events took place at the Airbus facility in Nantes, in France). Manufacture of components and systems for the first prototype is now under way – for example, the first composite upper wing shell is being produced at Stade, in Germany, and the first lower wing shell at Illescas, in Spain.

And it is known that South African company Aerosud, long a supplier to Airbus, has been awarded two work packages on the A350 XWB – one for frame clips and one for track cans (these house the mechanisms that extend and retract the wing flaps). Aerosud has been (and is) a very successful supplier of track cans for the Airbus A320 family of single-aisle jetliners.

Minimising risks

“Working on new technology is always a challenge,” says A350 XWB deputy chief engineer Alain de Zotti. “Do we foresee delays? No, we don’t. It’s a challenging journey, but, so far, so good.”

This optimism is based on two factors: Airbus has learnt a lot from the problems it suffered with the A380 programme and from the problems Boeing has endured on the 787; and the company has, from early on in the programme, done a lot of demonstration work. “Demonstrators are really important to derisk the programme,” he highlights. “The goal is to accumulate as much maturity as possible, particularly with systems, before the aircraft enters service.”

Thus, at Broughton, millions of pounds was spent on two wing box demonstrators – Demo Box 1 and Demo Box 2 – to ensure that the technologies employed will be fully understood and sufficiently mature to be used on a production line. (Assembly of the wings for the first A350 XWB is expected to start during the first quarter of next year.)

The manufacture of wings for the new airliner will involve two significant innovations. Firstly, for the first time ever for Airbus, the wing will be built in a horizontal position and not, as hitherto, in a vertical one. This involved considerable work, over several years, on design and on stress, to establish that the wings could be produced in this manner.

Secondly, all the drilling on both the upper and lower wing surfaces will be automated. At Broughton, 40 years ago, the wings were 100% manually drilled; today, for the A380, the drilling is some 50% manual and 50% automated. The A350 XWB will be 100% automated.

There is also a fuselage demonstrator. Airbus’s approach to the design and manufacture of a CFRP fuselage is totally different to that of Boeing. The fuselage barrel sections of the 787 are made in one piece, an approach that should save weight but, should there be a flaw in the manufacturing process, would require the scrapping of the entire barrel section.

The A350 XWB’s fuselage barrel sections will each be made up of four panels, or shells – top, bottom and two sides. Airbus believes that its approach will allow better optimisation, including weight optimisation, and will allow the construction of longer barrel sections that those Boeing is producing. Also, a manufacturing flaw, or in-service damage, would require the replacement of only the shell concerned, and not the entire barrel section.

The A350 XWB fuselage demonstrator is 18 m long, made up of a 4-m section and two 7-m sections (one being a centre section and the other a rear section). In terms of diameter, the A350 XWB’s fuselage, at 5,96 m, will be the widest composite fuselage in the world. Some of the shells were made by Airbus, and the others by its risk-sharing partners who were involved in the programme from a very early stage. The shell panels were made in moulds, employing preimpregnated materials.

The fuselage demonstrator fulfils a number of roles. It serves to validate the technologies and processes for the manufacture of fuselage parts and components, such as stringers, panels and window frames, as well as to validate the assembly of CFRP structures. It is being used to develop optimised and common tools and processes for the production of CFRP components and fuselage assembly at all Airbus sites. It also serves as a structural test-bed and the data obtained from the work and tests on the fuselage demonstrator will be transferred to all the relevant Airbus sites and risk-sharing partner companies to provide the baseline for production technologies and processes. The fuselage demonstrator was also subject to environmental tests in Airbus’s Arctic Chamber across the temperature range of –40 ˚C to 60 ˚C.

The CFRP fuselage demonstrator was assembled on a flexible jig, capable of building sections ranging in length from 2 m to 11 m, and from 6,15 m to 6,65 m in diameter, and which uses laser technologies to ensure the precise positioning of the shells and other components during assembly.

Further, one of Airbus’s flying test-beds, an A340-300, has been fitted with an A350 XWB fuselage shell panel in place of a metal panel for flight tests. One of the issues being examined is how much noise the CFRP panel will admit into the fuselage from outside in order to determine how much soundproofing will be required.

“The use of composites to make the fuselage changes a lot of things,” points out A350 XWB programme head Didier Evrard. “For example, you have to provide for things that came ‘free’ with metallic fuselages.” For example, metallic fuselages automatically form Faraday Cages, providing a high degree of protection against external electromagnetic interference (EMI – most usually, for airliners, represented by lightning). CFRP does not.

This makes the EMI test rig particularly important. This involves the use of a multifunction EMI chamber to analyse the EMI characteristics of CFRP and to test all types of high-frequency interference inside the cabin (from cell phones and from cabin systems, for example) and between the outside and the inside of the fuselage (such as between cabin systems and external antennas). “The electrical structuring network has been a challenge but it is now under control,” reports De Zotti. “We’ve learnt a lot from our competitor, [Boeing].”

Systems Tests and Mock-Ups

Airbus is not just focusing on testing the new materials to be employed in the A350 XWB. It is also seeking to derisk all the systems that will go into the aircraft, and, following the deeply embarrassing problems with the production ramp-up of the A380, to do the same for the manufacturing process.

Thus, the company has carried out air distribution tests, which covered all the influences on the air flow through the cabin, including the shape of the cabin lining, the air outlets, and even the temperature of the passengers. The aim is to ensure optimal air flow through the cabin for maximum passenger comfort. Similarly, tests have been executed with mock-ups of the A350 XWB’s crew rest compartments, looking into such matters as the functioning of air conditioning and smoke detectors, and air distribution (especially around the sleeping bunks). The aircraft’s wheels and brake systems have been built and are being tested.

In addition to the digital mock-up, a full-size physical mock-up of the aircraft fuselage is being built. This is a direct result of the production problems suffered with the A380 and will be used to try out the installation of aircraft systems before production of the A350 XWB actually begins.

In addition to this, there are the A350 XWB simulators. “We have a development simulator which we call Aircraft Minus One,” says De Zotti. “This is used to test out new ideas, new functions, and allows us to look at handling features. We are also preparing the next stage, Aircraft Zero, in which a simulator will be attached to real mechanical and hydraulic systems.”

Production tooling is being manufactured and final assembly of the first A350 XWB prototype, MSN1, is expected to start next year. There will be five prototypes, of which MSN1 and MSN3 will not be fitted with cabins; MSN2 will be the first to be fitted with a cabin; regarding MSN4 and MSN5, one will be fitted with a cabin and the other not. MSN1 should make its maiden flight in 2012.

http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/art...mme-2010-09-24
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Old March 16th, 2011, 01:25 PM   #300
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Trent XWB engine “certainly sufficient” to power A350-1000: Airbus

By Mary Kirby

Rolls-Royce's Trent XWB is "certainly sufficient to power" the Airbus A350-1000 stretch, assures the European airframer's vice president of marketing Andrew Shankland.

Seeking to "dispel any rumours" regarding whether or not the A350-1000 is capable of performing its 14,800km (8,000nm) mission as advertised or not, Shankland told delegates today at the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) conference in Scottsdale, Arizona that "the answer is 'it certainly is'," both in terms of the current airframe design and the current engine from partner Rolls-Royce.

Shankland notes that there are always "discussions with customers regarding potential changes to any aircraft in the future when you haven't yet hit the detailed definition phase", a point not yet reached for the -1000.

He adds: "It is true to say that when you talk to any airline, they'll always find a route which is a little bit further than any aircraft would fly. And so that is, if you like, a process of discussion, but no, the -1000 is ready to roll in terms of guarantees sold with the airplane to our launch customers for EIS [entry-into-service] in 2015."

The Trent XWB family comprises two basic engines to power the three A350 variants. The baseline 374kN (84,000lb)-thrust version for the A350-900 is derated to 351kN (79,000lb) for the -800, while an upgraded 414kN (93,000lb) thrust version will power the A350-1000.

All variants of the aircraft are "on time", says Shankland. "That means the -900 enters into service in 2013, the -800 in 2014 and the -1000 in 2015. And the engine thrust that we have from Rolls-Royce today is certainly sufficient to power the A350-1000."

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...a350-1000.html

Last edited by KB; March 16th, 2011 at 03:32 PM.
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