Trying To Untangle Wires

CHRISTIAN CHARISIUS / REUTERS/CORBIS

FITTING RESPONSE: Airbus execs in France blamed wiring done in this Hamburg plant for the latest delay

The short circuit at Airbus has turned out to be much more serious than expected. For several months, officials at the giant aerospace company have explained away the delays dogging their biggest project, the €12 billion superjumbo A380[an error occurred while processing this directive] plane, by blaming the wiring. Each A380 has about 500 km of electrical cables that need to be configured individually for different customers (so the explanation went), and that was proving far more complex than anticipated.

Last week, the story changed. Airbus postponed the A380's launch once again, but acknowledged that the company's problems are far greater than...

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