Home' Asian Aviation : AAV July August 2010 Contents 34 AsianAviation | JULY--AUGUST 2010
of series production from the rst aircra .
Assembly of Demobox II began almost a year
ago in August 2009, with the rst learning results
available this year. e A350 wing chord measures
13.46m at the root and overall span is some 64.6m.
e Airbus UK factory at Broughton in north Wales
will assemble and equip each wingset ahead of nal
assembly in Toulouse.
e early Airbus vision for the A350 was shared
with customers four years ago. Cabin technical
de nition has now been frozen , the extra width --
"sized for 2020 long-haul comfort" -- being seen by
Pendaries as a "unique comfort di erentiator" in the
marketplace. At 220 inches, the internal dimension is
just less than the original Airbus twin-aisle external
measurement. e European manufacturer has long
regarded the A300/A310 and A330/A340 outside
diameter as a "magic" size that proved good enough
for the rst four Airbus widebody designs.
Discussing cabin configuration "to fit 2020
comfort standards", Pendaries points out that new
business-class cabins o er full lie- at comfort. e
normal seat width for premium-economy class is
now 19 inches, one inch more than that in regular
Airbus compares four- and eight-abreast layout
with the same or equivalent con gurations on the
A380's upper deck, claiming "superior" passenger
experience from the "higher comfort/efficiency
combination" Similarly, the manufacturer equates
A350 nine-abreast seating with the A380's ten-
abreast main deck.
e European manufacturer has been keen to enable
customers to "brand" their A350 cabins, despite
ultimately restricting their options. "Customisation
is where the A380 is in trouble: the A350 will be a
much more rigid process," according to programmes
executive vice-president Tom Williams.
As a result, customisation appears "where it
matters," says Caudron. e new aircra is seen
as an "enabling platform" meeting particular
operational requirements and allowing customers to
identify their aircra with apt "product branding."
Accordingly, operators may choose from a selection
of module options (such as colour, nish, material,
and trim for cabinet, countertop, ooring, mirror,
and wall panels in their A350 toilets). Likewise,
Airbus o ers passenger-seat and galley options.
manufacturer with greater assurance in managing
A350 production ramp-up and owners with
increased con dence in residual values (as "de-
customisation" between operators will be easier).
Overall, the idea is to achieve A350 cabin-
equipment supplies "on line, on time, [and] to spec,"
Caudron concludes. ●
ACS to improve cabin-systems integration
One innovation for the upcoming Airbus A350 is
a cabin-equipment supply set-up, which permits
airlines to negotiate directly with companies
contracted to meet certain Airbus performance
and technical standards.
The Airbus contracted supply (ACS) system is
seen as reducing equipment-order lead times
and being likely to improve systems integration
and reliability from the A350's entry into service.
Customer and business programme development
vice-president Francois Caudron outlines four
considerations that have driven ACS: lessons
drawn from experience with the preceding
A330/A340 and A380 projects; pressure on
aircraft pricing that stimulates tighter cost
control; relative market positioning between
Airbus and Boeing; and prospective introduction
of the Boeing 787.
The A350's tight development time, compared
with previous Airbus twin-aisle designs, has been
another factor and the need for the new design
to be attractive to various leasing applications or
various different operations. The manufacturer's
new approach to customisation means that,
for example, galleys and toilets are defined as
supplier-furnished equipment (SFE), while other
traditionally buyer-furnished equipment (BFE),
such as in-flight entertainment systems and
passenger seats, are now selected from ACS
suppliers and installed by Airbus.
Caudron argues that ACS supplies are "neither
BFE nor SFE". Rather, the new arrangement
follows a decision to have a common systems
policy, under which cabin-equipment suppliers
are selected much earlier, permitting them to
take part in joint programme definition.
Airbus has been keen to enable customers to 'brand' their A350 cabins. Credit: Airbus
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