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American Bloggers about Germany

German Joys about potential clemency for RAF terrorists: "Freedom for Mohnhaupt and Klar?"

Dialog International about the "Innovation Deficit in Germany"

Coming Anarchy about policy on Russia: "Merkel Lets the Cat Officially Out of the Bag."

Endnote:
All About Germany has a personal take on "American vs German Business Culture"  (Apparently the author is neither American nor German, but she studied in Germany and describes herself as a "nomad.")

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Pat Patterson on :

The "Innovation Deficit in Germany" reminded me of the difficulties that Airbus is having with the A380. Both Boeing and Airbus are using virtual construction software from the Dassault Systems of France. But Boeing is using this software solely on its current and future airframes while Airbus has been forced to make do with the French design team using Dassault and the German team using SIEMENS and SAP. The result being delays and cost overruns from incompatible design work. What I'm sure is stifling innovation is the rejection of the best solution, regardless of nationality, for local or rather intranational political needs. Why design a good product if it will not be used and thus will not reward the designers?

Don S on :

The more interesting question is whether Boeing and all it's suppliers are using the same software? I devoutly hope that is the case. Boeing has as many (or more) suppliers as Airbus does - but no co-equal prime contractor as Airbus had. That may keep them out of A380 hell.

Pat Patterson on :

The way I understand it is that Boeing used the Dassault software to design and then construct all the plane and then put the various pieces out to bid or assignment. The suppliers will not design but rather construct. The software will "design" a door but then it will install the door on a virtual airframe that will show if there are any problems, ie. bulkheads, wiring,etc., even whether the installer can reach into smaller places and attach the door on to the proper tolerances. Then these schematics are constructed at Boeing and its various suppliers using the plans that the software vetted. So far I think only the 787 uses this method but Boeing has hired Dassault for all of its next generation of airframes. The problem with Airbus was just as I stated. The French design team used Dassault and the German team used a much more limited and older system. Thus the extensive rewiring that was called for in the A380. And in the redesigned A350. My understanding is that the German Airbus design team and German politicians with board seats on Airbus and EADS are adamant that Dassault's software not be used except in France. Go figure. I agree that Boeing's reliance on a multitude of suppliers could cause design and construction problems. But on the 787 the risk seems to have paid off. I would think that any problems that do come up would be due to economic or political instability in the suppliers host country. As an aside I would like to point out that I do not wish Airbus ill will. Boeing can only remain competitive if it has a strong rivalry with Airbus. Else it will repeat all the problems it had in the previous two decades.

Pat Patterson on :

A very late update if anybody is still reaidng this thread. Boeing admitted today, 1/25/07, that the 787 might be delayed because of problems with the inflight wireless entertainment system. Added without Dassault's software and now 5 times heavier than planned and unreliable to boot. At least I hope to not read about any wing problems in the future.

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