Friday, May 25, 2007


Question: What is the difference between an industry leader and a euro-statist copycat?


Airbus is set to make yet another design change to its A350 XWB, this time dumping composite panels on an aluminum frame for an all-composite barrel. [...] News of the move [...] comes the same week that Boeing started final assembly on the 787.

So when can we expect the new and improved version of the new and improved version of the new and improved model of Airbus to enter service?

Last fall, ATWOnline revealed that Airbus was switching to the composite panel design from all-aluminum and that the aircraft's entry into service would slip to 2014 (ATWOnline, Oct. 25, 2006).

This latest change may push the EIS further out [...]

...into 2015 or 2016, I suppose. But, knowing Airbus, this won't be their last word on the matter!

More on the 787:

For the first 100 or so planes, Boeing expects each Dreamliner to spend just six days in final assembly. That should be reduced to just three days when the production line ramps up to full speed.


There's a fourth slot that won't be needed for every plane at first, but Scott Strode, vice president of airplane development and production for the 787, said it's designed to allow room for some contingency work to be done if needed and could eventually be used to boost production.


Strode said Boeing remains on track to roll out the first plane by July 8. It will be used for test flights, which are slated to begin around late August. The 787 is scheduled to enter commercial service next May, when Boeing delivers the first of the hot-selling planes to All Nippon Airways Co.

By the time the A350 XWB reaches that stage, Boing will be rolling out its next innovation--perhaps a blended-wing aircraft?

Boeing is working with two potential customers to define a commercial freighter variant of its blended wing body large transport aircraft as it prepares to fly a subscale model of the flying-wing design at NASA Dryden in California.

"We have been working with a couple of customers," says George Muellner, president, advanced systems, for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "We have a customer, we have finalised what they want, and it is now an issue of customer funding and our desire to invest."

Speaking of investing,

Shares of Boeing Co. surged to an all-time high on Thursday after the world's largest airline booked an order for more than $4 billion of its minijumbo planes.

The stock has doubled in the last two and half years[.]