Commercial Aircraft Manufacturing Expert Opines On Contract Dispute Between Developers


Commercial Aircraft Manufacturing Expert

This case involves a company that was developing a next-generation aircraft. A letter of intent was signed by a contracting company to design the control system. During the joint development phase, the contractor failed to develop the system in time. The contractor claims the delay was due to the fact that they subcontracted the development of the system to another company that did not have the required expertise. It was alleged by the plaintiff that losing the subcontractor caused the company to incur more costs. The contracting company asked to increase the contract price but the developing company chose to terminate the contract. The contractor sued the developer for breach of contract, claiming there was wording in the contract stating the contractor is entitled to more compensation if the adjustments are considered significant. An expert in commercial aircraft manufacturing was sought to determine whether the adjustments made after the original request are considered significant.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please describe your experience in commercial aircraft systems manufacturing and design.
  • 2. Can you determine whether adjustments made to the design would incur costs that are deemed "significant" to the contractor?
  • 3. Can you determine whether a cockpit control system is basic in its design compared to the finished prototype?

Expert Witness Response E-174247

My engineering training and experience contained significant elements of cockpit controls, safety certification & regulatory questions. I also have 10 years of commercial aerospace consulting experience with specific focus on commercial aviation, avionics, flight control systems, engineering, regulatory & certification costs & complexities. I would be capable of addressing the contractual dispute as well as the intellectual property dispute because I have technical & commercial experience of the technological & regulatory elements that drive complexity & cost in development, along with the processes and practices involved. I have advised a major commercial aircraft cockpit systems provider on their strategy and position relative to a powerful new entrant at the lower end of their market which covers many of the same technical and commercial questions.

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