Re: Factors affecting A320 US record.

From: (Robert Dorsett)
Organization: Netcom Online Communications Services (408-241-9760 login: guest)
Date:         06 Feb 96 14:15:37 
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In article <airliners.1996.110@ohare.Chicago.COM> kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz) writes:
>>And contrary to popular beleif, Airbus does not build all of its
>I find it very difficult to believe that this is a "popular belief"
>given the commonly cited U.S.-content in Airbus products (even if you
>ignore the engines), and in general the necessity in the business of
>subcontracting work to companies in countries whose airlines are going
>to be buying your planes.
>Perhaps the most astonishing bit of non-Airbus production on an Airbus
>plane is the original engine nacelle and pylon on the A300.

And as a bit of apocryphal evidence, a mechanic friend was rather annoyed when
AI products were purchased by his airline--the consequence of which was that
he and all other light maintenance shops on way stops had to maintain both
metric and British tooling sets.  Heavy components on the Airbus products
tend to come from American manufacturers (fuel pumps, hydraulic pumps,
actuators, etc), while everything else is European.

In reality, there isn't much of a problem for professional mechanics to
maintain duplicate sets.  But it does increase the administrative overhead,
and increases the amount of tooling one has to haul out to the airplane. :-)

>  Airbus
>did not really want to spend the substantial sums needed to design
>these components,

Speaking of which, the latest Aviation Week concludes with the interesting
comment (in relation to the ramifications of transforming the consortium into
a "real company" operation):

"As a result of such a complex industrial structure and financial issues,
Airbus Industrie does not have a clear view of its real production costs,
French Sen. Jean-Francois Le Grand recently pointed out."

Robert Dorsett                         Moderator, sci.aeronautics.simulation