Re: Flying Pencils (was:What's wrong with MD-11?)

From:         spagiola <spagiola@worldbank.org>
Organization: The World Bank Group
Date:         09 Nov 95 02:19:08 
References:   1 2 3 4
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bareynol@cca.rockwell.com (Brian A. Reynolds) wrote:
> I believe one of the significant benifits to Douglas on the MD-95 is that
> it IS a circular cross section, allowing automated manufacturing processes.

I haven't heard anything about that, and doubt it is true.  Such a major
change to the fuselage would cause to significant cost increases and
pretty much obviate the economic benefits of producing a derivative
type.  Everything I've read indicates the MD-95 fuselage is a simple
shrink of the MD-80/Md-90 fuselage.

> (The DC-9/MD-8x family were all assembled by hand.  Manufacturing labor
> was, in general, in excess of 60,000 hours per aircraft - but I don't know
> how much of that was directly attributable to the fuselage assembly process
> itself.)

Assembled by hand?  Nonsense.  Douglas used an assembly line bringing
together fuselage sections assembled elsewhere, like everyone else.
Until the MD-90 came along, the top and bottom parts of the fuselage
sections were the basic building blocks.  With the MD-90, Douglas has
switched the manufacturing process to one using fuselage barrel
sections.  This did lead to savings in manufacturing time and cost
(sorry, I don't have numbers handy).  This process now applies to
both MD-80s and -90s, which are build on the same line.

Stefano