September 21, 2006


Airbus superjumbo flies towards new delays, company sources say (AFP, 9/22/06)

The Airbus A380 superjumbo airliner is heading for probable new delivery delays, sources inside the company said on Wednesday.

One source inside Airbus, who declined to be named, said that "a halving of deliveries next year seems logical in view of the industrial difficulties arising from adaptation of electric cabling to the specific requirements of customers". [...]

Earlier on Wednesday the French financial newspaper Les Echos had reported that Airbus was facing further delays in the delivery of its A380 superjumbo airliner, for as much as six months.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 21, 2006 12:00 AM

Yes, it's not as if Boeing every had any development delays *cough*V-22 Osprey*cough* in any of their aircraft programs.

Posted by: Rick T at September 21, 2006 9:24 AM

You're surprised that the government program is an ineffective boondoggle?

Posted by: oj at September 21, 2006 9:30 AM

The Osprey was a co-production with Bell Hellicopter, created in large part because Jim Wright wanted a big defense contract for his Fort Worth district, more than the military actually wanted the thing or thought it was practical. So in that way, it was like the A-380 -- a government-sponsored aircraft that served the needs of government more than it served the needs of the people who were actually going to use it (and at this rate, The Federation is going to invent the matter transporter before Airbus gets its ueberjumbo off the ground).

Posted by: John at September 21, 2006 9:31 AM

Let's wait and see. The plane will be around for a long time, current glitches aside the plane is a very solid design.

With the congestion at the major hubs - NIMBY and so on - the airlines will need to maximize the passengers per limited landing and take-off slots. The number of point-to-point connections will increase, and offer increasing business for the Boeing Dreamlines, too, but there's plenty of business for everyone.

Posted by: Ralf Goergens at September 21, 2006 11:02 AM

It can't land anywhere that voters have a say, which means it's doomed.

Posted by: oj at September 21, 2006 11:21 AM

Some US airports have already started making changes to get ready for the A380 (as I recall, LAX, Dulles, and SFO). If there is a battle over landing the A380, it will be at O'Hare, but that airport has much bigger problems than the A380.

The issues involved are not things the "public" would notice (other than the cost) - beefing up the runways and taxiways, and raising (also lengthening) the jetways at a couple of gates to handle the higher doors. Most airports that might see the A380 would probably only get a flight or two a day, so there won't be much impact anyway.

Other issues have more impact on the taxpayer - like the decision at MIA to shut down Concourse A for 18 months because the airport authority is years behind on a major construction project and can't finish it without completely closing the terminal. Or the baggage handling system at the new Denver airport that was finally abandoned after wasting probably $500 million dollars (maybe more - I'm too lazy to check the exact figure). So now they route the baggage the old-fashioned way. Or the business problems at the Pittsburgh airport, which built a mall on the security side of the operation, only to watch things collapse after 9/11, when only ticketed passengers could go through to the airside.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 21, 2006 9:28 PM