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Materials & Assembly
Video: Composite-Rich Airbus 350 Makes First Flight
6/21/2013

The Airbus A350 XWB, composed of more than 50 percent carbon composites, took off on its successful maiden flight on June 14 at the Paris Air Show.   (Source: Airbus)
The Airbus A350 XWB, composed of more than 50 percent carbon composites, took off on its successful maiden flight on June 14 at the Paris Air Show.
(Source: Airbus)

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: The big question - Fatigue
Ann R. Thryft   7/3/2013 12:33:40 PM
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notarboca, I'd be very surprised if Airbus *didn't* do the type of tests you mention. The 15 slides shown in my previous story on the 350, "Slideshow: Anatomy of a Composite-Heavy Jetliner"
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=264009
are a mere smattering of all the various press releases and announcements made on the many, many steps during this entire process, and many of those represent a ton of different tests. Commercial aircraft must go through a very rigorous testing process, much more extensive than that of military aircraft. We've discussed this, regarding composites, here:
http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=235863
and here:
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=235214
Airbus seems to have learned from Boeing's mistakes.



Rob Spiegel
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Re: Promising news
Rob Spiegel   7/3/2013 8:50:08 AM
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Good point, Ann. Even though it is old tech that is giving the 787 trouble, someone must be overlooking the old tech. Perhaps they've been overly focused on the new tech.

notarboca
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Re: The big question - Fatigue
notarboca   6/30/2013 2:38:48 AM
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Ann, TJ-- I, too, would like to see composite fatigue results.  Fatigue kills airframe components!  The only way the US Air Force has been able to keep B-52s airworthy is to address this, since the wing flexes about 6 feet with every takeoff and landing cycle.  Quite a maintenence effort.

I doubt Airbus has taken a horizontal stablizer into a test bed and twisted/jerked it six ways from Sunday to see fatigue results.  Most probably rely on computer modelling, but I hope not.

a.saji
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Silver
Re: Promising news
a.saji   6/29/2013 10:22:19 AM
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@Murray: Yes sounds like that to me too. You need to provide the fullest support towards industries like aviation since they are the things which carries the industry forward if its right on track with technology. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Promising news
Ann R. Thryft   6/28/2013 11:44:34 AM
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Yes, I saw that poll. That's the power of bad press. The fact that this is old tech, not new tech, at fault makes me nervous, because that indicates a systemic problem, like one of QA/maintenance. If anything, you'd think those oversight-type systems would be tightened on the 787 by now, not loosened.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Promising news
Rob Spiegel   6/27/2013 11:19:09 PM
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Good question, Ann. If it's not new technology, why is there a problem? Also, have you seen the Design News instant poll on whether readers would be willing to fly on the 787?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Promising news
Ann R. Thryft   6/27/2013 12:17:39 PM
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Thanks, Rob. So now it's a brake indicator problem--not exactly new technology. At least the most recent problems have been mechanical, and not related to new technologies. OTOH, one wonders why they happened at all.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Promising news
Rob Spiegel   6/26/2013 7:16:48 PM
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Ann, a 787 was diverted for mechanical problems on Sunday:

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/23/travel/dreamliner-diverted/index.html

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Promising news
Ann R. Thryft   6/25/2013 3:03:16 PM
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Oh no, what happened now?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Promising news
Rob Spiegel   6/25/2013 3:01:10 PM
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Boeing has really had its problems, even just this week. It will be interesting to see if Airbus has similar difficulties.

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