Podcast: 10 Minutes About Airbus’ Design and Production transformation

June 30, 2021 © Leeham News: Yesterday’s 10 Minutes About discussed Boeing’s drive toward a dramatic new way to design and produce new airplanes. Today’s 10 Minutes About looks at how Airbus is approaching the same challenge.

Leeham News and Analysis
Leeham News and Analysis
Podcast: 10 Minutes About Airbus' Design and Production transformation

4 Comments on “Podcast: 10 Minutes About Airbus’ Design and Production transformation

  1. It seems that the strategic thinking of the USAF in reducing the development cycle of its aircraft (so as the out develop its threats) is very influential in promoting Boeing into ‘moon shot’ design and manufacturing. (The F-35 is a brilliant aircraft but not exactly on time and may be not appropriate). At the same time one comment poster on Leeham in another article suggested that heavy cost cutting at Boeing has made it less efficient and is the cause of the malaise in long project delays being seen on B787 and B777-X.

    I have myself seen cost cutting cross the line from removing waste into making a company hollow and dysfunctional. What happens is that the manager/ceo looks like a hero as the bottom line looks good for a while and then the price has to be paid as things slowly stop working.

    • While reducing development times has some benefit for your competitive position I think the most pressing issue with military development programs today is that cost grew to a level that begins to threaten the business case. Even the most advanced design is worse than useless if you cant afford enough of them and the few you managed to buy sucked you dry completely.

  2. The aspect not addressed is Boeing made a very low bid on the T-7A as it was the only way they could secure a future military aircraft program. The other bidders were billions higher and not willing to go there.

    As for commercial, if they can get aircraft and make money they don’t care how it gets there. They set what type they buy but not how it is made. Airbus and Boeing are close enough cost wise its a matter of how much margin you want to cut to get a given aircraft supply campaign.

    The huge question is has Boeing cut itself so deeply they can’t manage to do the Digital Design successfully.

    Airbus has clearly maintained its culture and capability in conventional (including composites now) design build and production.

    • Another way to ask this is Boeing giving up on what they have for what they think works in the future?

      Clearly they don’t have the A teams for all they are doing. It looks like 787/MAX/777 and the KC-46 have felt that.

      Focus going to the Digital design in both the known T-7A and the less talked about but extremely relevant MQ-25 as well as the Black Curtain programs they are involved in?

      NG may have done the same Digital Design move on the B-21. With that on their plate they did not bid on the T-X program.

      The others had current that you can’t change and came in way high.

      Interesting in the Boeing podcast how much one mfg said they saved on their mfg when they used it.

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