Friday, May 25, 2007

A350 Design Changes Again?

Air Transport World is reporting this day that there is an impending design change to the A350XWB which will change the construction of the fuselage from a panels on framework model to a monolithic cylindrical fuselage barrel. It is said that this will also result in a further delay to the A350's entry into service date.

This is news that I have long expected.

I believe that I have opined on several occasions that the methods of construction and material science embodied in the B787 project was going to be a game changer the like of which has not been seen in our lifetimes. Nothing this big has occurred in the aircraft construction field since the introduction of aluminum monocoque construction in the 1930s put the dope and fab, plywood, and corrugated aluminum builders out of the commercial aircraft trade.

If this announcement proves accurate it vindicates the direction that Boeing took with the B787, and it suggests that the technical situation at Airbus is in a parlous state.

Stay tuned for the Paris usual it should prove verrrrrrrrrrry intereschting.


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