Although it's true that Airbus flew the 350 a few weeks ahead of its public schedule, the entire plane's design and build cycle still took longer to reach completion, as did the Boeing 787's, than originally anticipated. Changing major structures from metals to composites is a humongous effort, and apparently even more complex and difficult than either company realized. That's saying a lot, considering how much engineering talent they both have. Like Chuck, I hope they can move forward now that they've won this hard-earned knowledge and that commercial aviation is entering a new phase.
Rob, the Airbus has more composites than any other commercial jet to date, including the Boeing 787. And you're right, Boeing's troubles have nothing to do with composites. Although early on last year, there were some delamination problems on the composite skin.
I agree this is promising news, Liz, especially since it's a couple weeks ahead of the public schedule. Let's hope it means that the aviation industry in general is moving beyond all the design and production problems that it has been experiencing for the past few years.
Rich, from what I saw, this week's Boeing 787 problems had to do with oil-related issues. That said, I'm not sure I want to fly on the 787 for awhile until all its problems are ironed out, including the batteries.
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