What are the measures to mitigate the new development risk of the aircraft as seen in Airbus' new model "A350 XWB"?
An aircraft carrying many people and flying in the sky assembles millions of parts as a whole with an accuracy of less than a millimeter, and in its brain part, a highly developed computerized control system is overwhelmingly done It is very complicated, that is. To develop such an aircraft it will cost a long time and trillion yen, so the risk that the company will bear will also be big, but as the latest model "A350 XWBWe are developing the development ofAirbusWhat kind of initiatives does the company take?
How Airbus Is Debugging the A350 - Businessweek
Development of A350 XWB type aircraft is progressing at a rapid pace to start operation in 2014. Cities in the southern part of France that are the headquarters of Airbus and the base of developmentToulouseIn the suburbs of Blagnac Airport, test flight by two prototype aircraft serving as test aircraft is repeated every day.
In the test flight, a test crew consisting of two pilots and three engineers got into the test machine and the flight performance in the design maximum speed region and the aircraft behavior at the time of stalling, and by raising the nose too much when taking off, the body Checking the motion and performance of the aircraft under circumstances such as when a deliberate occurrence of "tail strike" at the rear contacting the runway is under way. Basically, passenger seats are not installed in the aircraft for the test, a water tank for simulating the passenger weight, and equipment racks containing computers with various sensors tightly stretched around the body It is installed. Engineers who came in front of the monitor are checking whether the aircraft is doing the expected operation or abnormal movement from various airframe data sent from each part.
Even if you use computers and carefully carefully designed aircraft, the prototype still has various troubles. In case of emergency escape, the aircraft is equipped in case of control failure in flight. Pulling out a lever for escape explodes the explosive charged in a part of the fuselage and the crew is designed to slide out of the escape shooter and jump out into the air, but it escapes from the body rampaging with losing control To the question as to whether it is possible, Mr. Patrick Duche, who is responsible for the development team, shrugs his head saying, "How about you?"
Speaking of trouble with the new aircraft, it is a new place to remember battery-related problems that occurred frequently in the Boeing 787 "Dreamliner". Although it is a 787 type machine that dramatically increased the control ratio by electric power compared to the conventional aircraft, lithium-ion batteries installed aiming for weight reduction and upgrading will cause troubles such as fire and smoke, causing FAA From the authorities of each country, including the suspension of operation is extremely demanding. The ANA which introduced the 787 aircraft first in the world and the JAL which advanced the introduction next also have troubled. This trouble was improved shortly and the suspension of operation was canceled as of February 2014.
One Airbus company has experienced major problems at the development stage of the A380 aircraft. Currently, A380 aircraft, which is a total two-story passenger aircraft operated more than 100 aircraft, is forced to replace the total electric wiring laid in the aircraft at the trial stage, as well as troubles with jet engines There was a circumstance that the service was postponed for two years and caused a loss of 6 billion dollars (about 700 billion yen). Based on that background, Airbus CEO Fabrice Brezier said, "We made a fundamental restructuring of the organization at Airbus so that we do not encounter similar problems in developing the A350."
In constructing the manufacturing status of the A350, the company considers large-scale unprecedented problem solving measures, from which the reorganization of the organization called "de-risking" in the sense of "debugging risk" is executed It was. According to the company's estimate, the sales composition ratio of A350 will be as large as 40% of the total in the next 20 to 30 years, and for the company that creates 12,000 employment worldwide It will be a big remedy.
The greatest risk in modern aircraft development is no longer "safety" but is becoming a "cost" aspect. In 1952 he made his debut as the world's first jet airplaneDe Havilland CometteHowever, the safety of aircraft has dramatically improved since the accident in the aerial decomposition caused by metal fatigue three times.
In order to improve this safety, progress in research on materials has advanced, and the development of the pilot control system has greatly contributed to it. Most of modern aircraft do not convey the movement of the pilot to the wing as it is, but the intervening computer analyzes the operation by the pilot and the condition of the aircraft, so that the aircraft is in dangerous motion There is a mechanism to control so that it does not happen. "Fly-by-wireIt is calledFail-safeThe system enables advanced safety control by computer and plays a major role in improving the safety of aircraft in general.
BySan Diego International Airport
It is the reliability of the system that becomes very important in modern age where the electronic control of the aircraft advanced. A dual triple backup system is established for the control system of aircraft, but it is also inevitable that a situation where operation is impossible occurs occasionally. According to Brezier CEO "The airline company is required to operate reliably" 99% or more. "This is because if you do not hold the delay of more than 15 minutes due to machine trouble to 100 times or less It means that it will not be, it is a very high hurdle. "
The trouble of electric wiring in the aforementioned A380 type machine was caused by computer software at the design stage. The A380 aircraft is the first airbus company that was designed on the computer for the first time. Since Airbus is a multinational company with offices throughout Europe, mainly in France and Germany, there were several types of software being used. At this time, the version of software used in France and Germany is different, the drawing of the wiring made by the software on the German side does not match the one in the body of the aircraft designed in France, As a result, it causes the situation of redesigning all wirings of many kilometers in length.
ByI Wish I Was Flying
Based on this experience, when we started the A350 aircraft project at Airbus, we had a plan to develop an improved version based on the existing A330 / 340 aircraft. However, as Boeing announced the start of the development program for the 787 aircraft, which is a completely new design, the situation will change completely. The A350, which is less novel than the 787 aircraft announced at the same time, lacks attractiveness and the order status from airlines is extremely sluggish. Airbus who saw the situation seriously finally decided to set up a plan with a completely new design of the A350 aircraft.
In order to avoid the same misfortune as A380 aircraft, Airbus Company promoted standardization of in-house design software and succeeded in eliminating mistakes due to software differences. However, the reliability of the material is becoming a major factor in the A350 aircraft, as the usage rate of carbon composite, which is a new material, is greatly increased. For that purpose, Airbus used the "pyramid-type verification (testing pyramid)" method. To put it simply, in the idea of gradually verifying the material, verifying the material, then the component, then the system, then the system, and finally the entire aircraft to improve the reliability of the entire aircraft, Stefan Schaffrath, who is in charge of the company's public relations, summarizes this idea and says, "First solve big problems and finally complete only small problems." In order to realize the method, cooperation with many outsourcers has been strengthened, and half of the 350 employees involved in the aircraft are officers from outside the company.
Many parts and components that have confirmed reliability at all stages in this way are assembled as one body at the assembly plant of Toulouse. Theoretically, until this stage, all defects in each component are eliminated, and what is left at the stage of completion at the end as a fuselage is that it is only the verification at the most important emergency .
MSN001 and MSN003, which are testing machines of the A350 aircraft, have completed 1000 hours of the scheduled 2,500 hours flight test, and in the next 4 months a total of three testing machines are completed It is supposed to proceed with the remaining test items. Compared to the test of the A380 aircraft, the trouble occurring in the A350 aircraft has been reduced to about half, "This indicates that Airbus' verification policy is functioning "Duche, Flight Test Engineer, talks about its achievements.
The development of modern new aircraft takes a great deal of cost, and at the same time, the schedule initially assumed to deal with very complicated systems has often been postponed. The A350XWB will be in service in the second half of 2014, and launch customers who receive the aircraft for the first timeQatar AirwaysIt has become. It is a place where I want to watch over interest whether the method of Airbus company is effective and will be delivered as planned.