A400M Borked

#1
I quite like the term "Borked"*. Really quite useful these days:

“We completely underestimated [the task]...no military aircraft can be developed in less than 10 years, and in the A400M we are inventing everything,” EADS CEO Louis Gallois told the media this week. He said the company wanted to renegotiate “some technical specifications which are very demanding and costly, but which offer only marginal improvements in performance.

http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-news-page/article/eads-pleads-with-customers-for-a400m-rethink/


* Borked: . v. past tense. to have broken something, especially regarding technology.

2. adj. broken.

3. adj. pejorative. people who think that Robert Bork was qualified to sit on the Supreme Court.

Examples:

1. The Internet connection is broken because I just borked the firewall.

2. The mail server is borked.
 
#4
Blogg said:
I quite like the term "Borked"*. Really quite useful these days:

“We completely underestimated [the task]...no military aircraft can be developed in less than 10 years, and in the A400M we are inventing everything,” EADS CEO Louis Gallois told the media this week. He said the company wanted to renegotiate “some technical specifications which are very demanding and costly, but which offer only marginal improvements in performance.

http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-news-page/article/eads-pleads-with-customers-for-a400m-rethink/
Yeah, the news just gets better and better,

Nimrod to cost more and be late(r)- non shocker
 
#5
, and in the A400M we are inventing everything,” EADS CEO Louis Gallois told the media this week.
Bit like re-inventing the wheel then? Not build a tube with a ramp, stick wings,engines, wheels and a tail on it and fly the fecker.
 
#6
Since I know bugger all about the technical aspects of airlift remind me again, where does the A400M sit between the C-17 Globemaster and the later C-130 Hercules models in terms of size and capabilities. Is it that much of a step forward?

Edit: I should probably correct myself to say that when I mean bugger all I know the general basics like that you use strategic lifters like the C-17 to transport your stuff long distances and then tactical lifters such as the C-130 to move it about in-theatre but not the technical parts of it.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
I'm no expert but WHY is it so difficult?

“We completely underestimated [the task]...no military aircraft can be developed in less than 10 years, and in the A400M we are inventing everything,”
They say they are having to invent everything! This from a company that makes commercial airliners which are a fair bit more complicated (on the inside) than a lift craft.

AIN understands that the weight, pressurization and landing gear could also be major challenges.
There's been heavy and not-so-heavy lift aircraft flying succesfully around the world for decades, of all types - why not use proven designs for many of the components - like the bl00dy landing gear for example. It can't be more difficult than say, the landing gear on a great big civilian airliner (ok, perhaps stronger and better suspension), but why not try and improve some of the designs on the Hercules for example, copyright notwithstanding.
 
#8
or better yet, withold investment and upgrades to a C130 fleet, on the basis that "A400 will be here soon" even though it doesnt actually exist.

Hows that working out for us then?

Still lets let it go, as its not like we fcuk every cat a project do we, normally DE&S is so sucessful in delivering value for money and the best equipment to front line troops.

Its just a mean rumour that DE&S is full to the brim with cottage industries and self serving civvi's who have never seen a rifle, other than on Band of Brothers, and fail, consistantly to ever get a single project right.

And for those who say the procurement model is broken, thats just silly speak, it was never working in the first place.
 
#9
Typical bloody European disaster of consortiums. Thats what killed the Aerospace Industry in the UK. The last pure British jet left is the Hawk & was the BAe 146 high T tail jet that had is parentage and bloodline from the BAC 1-11 & VC 10.

The trouble is that as kit as got heavier and we get FRES vehicles they are simply too heavy for the Herc hence we needed a big Turbofan kite like the A400. It's basically a bigger & more poweful version of the Herc. I could be wrong but I don't think that RAF 5 Sqn deployable kit & ground support stations fit in a C-130.

It looks as if the A400 is now going to be years late & overpriced.

UK Defence Procurement is simply cr@p. Most major projects are years late, £000's of Millions overbudget or get cancelled.

If this was private industry folk head would of rolled. If I want a a new BMW I order it from the delaership for July and they say I decide on a Spec they price it & it's a contract. I promise to pay £33,756. Deal done.

They don't come back to me & say it's now going to be £42,329 & has less extras.

Apparantly the A400 is now 12 Tonnes overweight !!!!!!

It beggars belief.
 
#10
If I understand it correctly A400M has only a marginal capability increase over C130J..... So...Errr.. Really, if it's going to come in late, costly and downgraded.... Why?
 
#11
Killaloe said:
Typical bloody European disaster of consortiums. Thats what killed the Aerospace Industry in the UK. The last pure British jet left is the Hawk & was the BAe 146 high T tail jet that had is parentage and bloodline from the BAC 1-11 & VC 10.

The trouble is that as kit as got heavier and we get FRES vehicles they are simply too heavy for the Herc hence we needed a big Turbofan kite like the A400. It's basically a bigger & more poweful version of the Herc. I could be wrong but I don't think that RAF 5 Sqn deployable kit & ground support stations fit in a C-130.

It looks as if the A400 is now going to be years late & overpriced.

UK Defence Procurement is simply cr@p. Most major projects are years late, £000's of Millions overbudget or get cancelled.

If this was private industry folk head would of rolled. If I want a a new BMW I order it from the delaership for July and they say I decide on a Spec they price it & it's a contract. I promise to pay £33,756. Deal done.

They don't come back to me & say it's now going to be £42,329 & has less extras.

Apparantly the A400 is now 12 Tonnes overweight !!!!!!

It beggars belief.
TGS & OLGS are C130 portable.
 
#13
If you take a look at footage of films/TV reports, from Afghanistan, you will see, on a regular basis, the AN124.

A good aircraft for heavylift, but a couple of drawbacks i.e. an analogue cockpit, and it has to sit on the runway threshold, for a few minutes, to spool up the engines for take off power.

That aside, a good aircraft and it can lift a lot of equipment.
 
#15
C17's would help with the airbridge but of much more use would be the FSTA bought forward and obtained conventionally rather than with a PFI.

Name me one piece of military kit that has come in on time especially one that is genuinely breaking new ground. To compare the A400M with an Airbus civilian aircraft is not valid, its like comparing building a CR2 to a Vauxhall Vectra. Just because an aircraft like an airlifter might have less complex interiors does not make it less of a technical challenge.

The landing gear, mentioned above, are completely different to just strengthening some civilian ones that have to deal with nice concrete surfaces and repeatable forces. A tactical airlifter has to deal with sand, mund, tarmac, snow etc and distribute that load in a much more controlled manner. The undercarriage on the A400 is one of the reasons it will be able to better the soft field performance, repeatably, and with a much greater payload than a C130. I am sure Lockeed Martin might have something to say about us borrowing the design and improving it a bit.

The real reason for the delays are the engine, which is the most powerful of its type ever designed so they (Airbus and the engine consortium) have a challenge of creating a new aircraft and a new engine at the same time. When you break ground you will encounter problems whether you like it or not.

The A400M is to replace the C130K models in UK service and in terms of performance is designed to have much longer legs, carries much more (both weight and crucially volume), has greater speed, lower maintenance costs and better repeated soft field performance. People often compare it to the C17 but it is a completely different aircraft, better to visualise it as a larger, faster, higher capacity C130 that because of its peformance will have some strategic utility, it comes fitted as standard with all the plumbing for air refuelling as well (which might be useful if we ever get out of the FSTA PFI)

It won't be overpriced because they are all on a fixed price contract, sure we will change things to vary the price to some degree but the basic cost remains the same

We are facing problems because we have slipped the FSTA, are engaged in a higher operational tempo than envisoned and quite simply believed everything Airbus said without making sensible contingencies.

As the A400 comes into service we should start getting rid of the C130's and replace them with more A400's. The reality of military equipment is that it is getting bigger and heavier and increasing percentages of what we have in the inventory can't travel in the C130
 
#16
meridian said:
We are facing problems because we have slipped the FSTA, are engaged in a higher operational tempo than envisoned and quite simply believed everything Airbus said without making sensible contingencies.
And there lies the problem, believing Airbus, who to my knowledge have never built a tactical transport before. Very good at nice computer graphics though.
 
#17
Hey, they're the same bunch who brought you the A380 (a bit late and slightly more expensive), and passenger aircraft that can actually land safely on water. Still think we will end up with a pretty good product.

The discussions about the European collaborative aspects are valid - I believe working there would be even more frustrating than being in an office full of civil servants in Abbey Wood. Unfortunately, the only industry that the government seems bent on saving is the banking industry, so that's why most of our manufacturing industry has gone to the wall.
 
#18
Must admit I am a fan of the C 17 Strategic Lifter. A few more would be a big help, but I fear no more will be bought.
The A400, seems a tooch on the big side for a Tactical airframe, mind you having seen some of the things the ancient C 130 has done, I do hope to be plesantly surprised.
john
 
#19
In Feb 2006 NATO chartered six AN 124-100 transports for the Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS) 2 based at Leipzig full time 2 on 2 day notice, and 2 on nine day notice. These aircraft are hired on an hourly bassis with the UK 200 prepaid hours and a further 250 part paid for three years. This contract is renewed ever year untill the A400m enters service. Even with the 6 C17s at Brize this means the RAF need around 10 An charters a quarter. Anumber of other Civi DC8s , DC10s 757s, 767s are used for scedualed passenger lift and an Air Atlanta Iceland 747 used for the FI. these aircraft can only fly into a hub as they have no countermeasures. In the last 12 months 230,000 passengers have been moved plus some 50 million KG of freight. I2007 there were 40,000 tac sorties in Iraq and 10,000 in afghanistan including 500 airdrops.
 
#20
jonwilly said:
Must admit I am a fan of the C 17 Strategic Lifter. A few more would be a big help, but I fear no more will be bought.
The A400, seems a tooch on the big side for a Tactical airframe, mind you having seen some of the things the ancient C 130 has done, I do hope to be plesantly surprised.
john
Don't we have 6 C-17s now, IIRC the production stops soon as all will have been delivered and there are no more orders in the pipeline, so if we wanted more we have to be quick.
 

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