Colin P said:No problem we can deliver the airplane to you soon, however the engines might take a little longer.........
First flight of the Airbus Military A400M transport has slipped by several months from the first quarter of next year, according to majority stakeholder EADS, which has for the first time also hinted at the possibility of making late customer deliveries.
EADS revealed in its half-year results report that the A400M's flight debut has been delayed until "the summer of 2008", and said "the consequence on deliveries and cost is under assessment"...
"The [A400M] programme contains material risks on the overall time schedule, and system providers continue to face challenges that may infer late design implications," says EADS.
A key area of concern is the aircraft's Europrop International-developed TP400-D6 turboprop engine, test flights of which have already been delayed from earlier this year until at least the fourth quarter (Flight International, 26 June-2 July).
Meanwhile, delayed final assembly of the A400M is to start at EADS Casa's Seville site in southern Spain in late August, following a five-month delay from Airbus Military's previous plan to start work in late March.
The company plans to meet its commitment to deliver the first A400M to the French air force in late 2009.
European Aeronautic Defense & Space, the parent company of Airbus, reported an 85 percent drop in second-quarter profit on Thursday and warned of potentially "critical" delays to its multibillion-dollar military transport program...
despite the momentum in commercial jet sales, EADS said that development of Airbus's four-engine, turbo-prop military transport, the A400M, was falling behind schedule and could result in significant cost overruns.
"The A400M program contains material risks on the overall time schedule," Hans Peter Ring, chief financial officer for both EADS and Airbus, told analysts during a conference call. He said delivery of the engines for the first plane was "critically late," a factor that was likely to push the program's first test flights back as much as six months, to the summer of 2008.
Ring said that the company did not expect to be able make a specific estimate of the financial impact until late September or October.
"We can't rule out future costs for corrective action," he said.
Shares of EADS fell 83 cents, or 3.6 percent, to close at €22.24 on Thursday.
The engine for the A400M is being built by Europrop International, a consortium that includes Snecma, an arm of the French engine maker Safran, as well as Rolls-Royce of Britain, MTU Aero Engines Holding of Germany and ITP of Spain.
On Thursday, the chief executive of Rolls-Royce, John Rose, bristled at the suggestion that Europrop was to blame for the A400M's delays.
"We expect to deliver the engine on time," Rose said during a conference call with analysts, The Associated Press reported.
The A400M has been dogged for months by rumors of delays, which until now have been dismissed by Airbus and EADS executives as insignificant. Airbus conducted an extensive review of the program late last year. In March it conceded there would be slippage of "up to three months" to the start of final assembly, which will be carried out in Seville, Spain.
EADS said at the time that the delay would not have an impact on the delivery schedule for first plane, which is due to be shipped to the French air force in late 2009 - a timetable that was confirmed in May by Fabrice Brégier, the chief operating officer of Airbus.
In a sign of the potential scale of troubles facing the A400M program, Airbus this month quietly replaced the head of its military transport aircraft division, Francisco Fernández Sáinz, naming another Airbus veteran and fellow Spaniard, Carlos Suárez, to replace him [emphasis added].
"That's a pretty clear indication that senior management recognizes there are problems that need to be addressed," said Alexandra Ashbourne, an aerospace consultant based in London. " You don't fire the program managers when everything is going smoothly."..
The federal government has to be careful not to destabilize Montreal's thriving aerospace industry by handing out billions of dollars in contracts with no guarantee any of it will go to Quebec, Quebec Industry Minister Raymond Bachand warned yesterday.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with new federal Industry Minister Jim Prentice and Public Works Minister Michael Fortier, Bachand said the key to success in the global economy is through economic clusters such as the one that has grown up in Montreal around the aerospace industry...
"The government of Canada still has a responsibility when you hand out $17 billion worth of contracts, it is a massive intervention in the economy, to not destructure the economy and to encourage the clusters where they are found," Bachand said.
Fortier, however, was optimistic contracts will flow naturally to Quebec without the need of any intervention. "Since a big part of the (aeronautical) industry is found in Montreal and the expertise is in Montreal, naturally Montreal should receive a large share of those contracts."
He also suggested future government contracts could flow to Montreal-based companies. "There are other contracts that will be awarded, for helicopters, for other planes - and I think before judging whether or not Montreal has gotten its share, you should wait to see the overall contracts."..
The question of just how much business Quebec's aerospace industry will get from military spending has been a point of contention between Ottawa and Quebec - in particular between Bachand and former federal industry minister Maxime Bernier, who preferred to let market forces prevail.
Bachand was optimistic yesterday as he emerged from his meeting with Prentice, even though Prentice's office said there has been no change in the government's position that subcontracting decisions are up to Boeing.
UPDATE 2-France sees delay to European military plane
Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:37 PM BST161
By Tim Hepher
PARIS, Sept 10 (Reuters) - France's new defence minister predicted a delay in the A400M airlifter in another blow for planemaker Airbus, and criticised costly projects to build over-sophisticated weapons when cheaper ones would do. Herve Morin's remarks, in an interview with newspaper La Tribune published on Monday, reflect growing fears that deliveries of the A400M will be hit by a flaw in its turboprop engines. "There is a slight delay. It will reach our forces several months later than planned," Morin, who was appointed in May, told La Tribune.
The newspaper quoted unidentified sources as saying French procurement agency DGA expected the A400M to enter service as much as six to nine months behind an end-2009 target date.
France is the first customer for the tactical airlifter being developed for seven European nations as well as for export.
Airbus has already delayed by three months the start of A400M assembly in Spain as well as next year's maiden flight.
A source close to the project told Reuters the programme was losing money despite sales to Malaysia, South Africa and Chile, and to make money Airbus would need to secure more exports.
It is not yet clear whether the production delays will hit deliveries, which determine the timing of revenue payments to Airbus, already facing a cash squeeze due to civil jet delays.
The chief executive of Airbus parent EADS, Louis Gallois, told Reuters last month such delays were "probable".
Under pressure to minimise disruption, Airbus has started a detailed review of the A400M programme and is expected to make a final decision on delivery delays before the end of the year. Industry officials blame a flaw related to the engines, which feature the world's largest aircraft propellers.
© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved. |
Delivery of the first flight-test TP400 engine will now be nearly a solid year behind schedule at best, and the effects of this delay are starting to reverberate throughout the European A400M airlifter program. At least a half-dozen of the Airbus Military transports are expected to be handed over late.
The Europrop TP400-D6 had originally been due in November 2006 at Marshall Aerospace, with flight testing to begin in early 2007. That U.K. facility is modifying a Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules for the role...
...The A400M contract is a fixed-price commercial pact with delay penalty clauses. A late hand-over of aircraft could increase the financial risk for Airbus-parent EADS and its partners.
A government program official indicates that at least five A400Ms will not be completed on time. A senior German air force officer notes that they’ve been told the first seven A400Ms will not meet the present schedule.
Although Germany deliveries aren’t affected as yet, the military is preparing for that contingency, the officer says...
Moreover, when the first A400M is delivered, the government official indicates, the story will still not be over. The first aircraft will not meet government requirements and will have to be returned to industry for rework, he suggests.
Concerns have been mounting for months about the serious schedule slippage, although, so far, only one contractual milestone—the start of final assembly—has been missed...
GK .Dundas said:So I wonder if good old whatisname who's been shilling the A400 in a certain newspaper will be informing his readship of the above.....I wont be holding my breath. just wondering? :