Andrea Rothman of Bloomberg Europe explains in Airbus Vows Computers Will Speak Same Language After A380 Delay that the delay is due to some of Airbus's offices using the older CATIA 4 software, while other offices used the newer CATIA 5.
Excerpts from her report:
- The German and Spanish offices still used Dassault Systemes' CATIA 4, while the French and British offices had upgraded to CATIA 5.
- German engineers could not add their electrical wiring design changes to common 3D digital mockup maintained in France.
- Efforts to make the two compatible failed, and so design changes could not be integrated in real time. Changes in electrical configurations were made manually. Because the software couldn't interact, several design versions were in use simultaneously.
- Some of the A380's 300 miles of wiring in harnesses had to be extended or replaced, because they were too short, while others were affected by changes to the aircraft structure. (The Boeing 747 has 170 miles of wiring.)
More details are expected within the next four weeks.