Jean Leloup From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 2116 posts, RR: 18 Posted (12 years 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3980 times:
I'm quite sure that a year (or more) ago, when the A380 was in earlier design phases, the plan was that an A380-900 would be developed, which would be a significant stretch from the basic -800 series, providing even higher capacity and better economics.
It seems that talk of this has died down, since in all the recent A380 discussions, I haven't heard anyone mention a larger A380. Perhaps with so many people speculating (inaccurately, in my opinion) that the A380 will be way too big and cause a great deal of hassle even in its basic form, Airbus has decided not to hype and even bigger plane. Also, it's possible that R&D is being focused on one 'variant' in order to minimize costs.
But I was recently reminded of this possibility again when, in another thread, it was mentioned that the A380's basic design actually looked proportionally short and stubby. The look of the plane might suggest that a stretched variant is very much in order. Even if the number of Pax on a standard A380 proves a problem, I would think that some airlines and definitely some freight companies would be interested in an A380-900, especially if it provided superior economics (and it really should.)
So, does anyone think we are likely to hear again of an A380-900? Perhaps once orders pick upt for the basic version, and the financial risk no longer looks to be so daunting?
RayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8156 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (12 years 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3954 times:
Actually, a more likely variant is the A380-700, a "shrink" version that will have more range than the A380-800. The A387 could be a perfect 747-400 replacement and with its much longer range, the very possibility of LHR-SYD non-stop may not be out of the question.
Ikarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (12 years 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3828 times:
Sooner or later the chances are, it will be. A plane is designed with the structural redundancy and capacity to be stretched in mind. This means the first (basic) model is often somewhat heavier than it would be if it were never to be stretched. A stretch usually has better empty weight per passenger and therefore fuel efficiency. Also, I do not think the fuss about the initial A380 size is justified. The initial A380 is designed to fit anywhere that a 747 can go, I believe. A stretch would probably not be able to meet that criterion, so that's why it's likely to be delayed. But eventually, once airports upgrade and terminals & taxiways are built with A380s and larger things in mind, it will be produced (IF the basic A380 turns out to be a success)
Sllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3747 times:
While there may be a shrink, I would expect the A380-800R, the heavier MTOW version of the A380, to be next on the development list, assuming that there's demand for it. Given the rather lukewarm orders for the 772LR and A345, I'm not sure that enhanced range is going to be a big seller.
The A380-700 might be interesting. Much would depend on the actual economics of the aircraft. Also, the actual weight of the aircraft would be an issue. If the A380-700, fueled for the same destination as a 747-400 can carry the same passenger load at the same weight (i.e., ~900,000lbs), then clearly, it would totally displace the 747.
However, if the -700 weighs in at, say 1.15 million pounds to do the same job as the 747, even if the actual economics are better (i.e., the plane itself weighs more but burns less fuel in flight), an issue may arise with regards to being able to operate it out of airports that haven't upgraded to A380 standards.
Bobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (12 years 2 weeks ago) and read 3718 times:
Looking at the numbers, a vanilla A380-800 has 49% more usable floorspace than a 747-400, but the operating empty weight is 52% higher. That's despite the 380 benefiting from a "clean slate" design, the latest construction techniques, lightweight materials, &c...
That smells of over-engineering to me. It has *definitely* been built for stretching. I can't imagine Airbus thinking any other way. We could argue about possible markets, and how airports deal with the extra traffic, until we're blue in the face - but the base A380 design is clearly ready for a stretch.
Shrinking too - although an A380-stubby would have very tough competition from lighter aircraft, think of it like the A318
Indianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3596 times:
Man, this thing is going to be aimed by terrorists, I could only imagine if it was streched. It's a sitting duck.
AA61Hvy: actually I would think that smaller aircraft carrying a lot of fuel would make better targets for terrorist strikes, since that would mean lesser number of people to subdue in ordedr to turn it into a missile.
That makes MCLR type aircraft like the 767/777 or the A330/340 more attractive since they carry a heck of a lot of fuel.
Bobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (12 years 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3545 times:
Anyway, back to the original argument.
It seems that talk of this has died down, since in all the recent A380 discussions, I haven't heard anyone mention a larger A380. Perhaps with so many people speculating (inaccurately, in my opinion) that the A380 will be way too big and cause a great deal of hassle even in its basic form, Airbus has decided not to hype and even bigger plane.
At the risk of oversimplifying - "market reasons"?
Nobody wants to buy a 600+ seat monster this year.
Also, it's possible that R&D is being focused on one 'variant' in order to minimize costs.
However, the design still seems rather overengineered. In addition to the weight arguments (and the stubby appearance ), look at the wing area; 845m². That's 61% more than the 744, whereas the weight increase is 'only' around 50% depending which numbers you look at.
Enginesrus From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 82 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (12 years 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3436 times:
If memory serves, the so-called A380-900 was intended to be the baseline aircraft, meaning that the launch A380-800 is a shrink to begin with. To double shrink it into an A380-700 seems unfeasible from an engineering and cost point of view but an A380-900 will make a lot of sense 7-8 years from now...
Prebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6733 posts, RR: 54
Reply 12, posted (12 years 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3375 times:
Enginesrus is right. The A380 has a stretch potential. But there will be no rush. We won't see it in this decade.
If we will see it, that will also depend upon whether the airlines will be able to convince the major airports that when renewing runways and aprons they shall prepare for 1.500.000+ lbs MTOWs.
Sure a stretched A380 could be a fine plane, but it may also happen so that it is generally agreed that it will be too expensive to build the gound infrastructure for such a plane. Ground costs might easily cancel out potential savings in the air.
Same way trucks grew larger and larger 50-60-70 years ago. At least in Europe it has been generally agreed that max weight of a truck is 40 tons and it is too expensive to build roads for heavier vehicles.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
"Low wing loading and high OWE/passenger suggest that the A380-100 is the first of a family that will be stretched, while 747s are up to 42% heavier than the original 747-100. The square-cube law may also make the OWE/passenger high. The A380's newer wing technology shows, in that it needs 4 deg. less wing sweep for essentially the same cruise speed."