RayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8018 posts, RR: 5 Posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2309 times:
I think after the A380 is in the air, there is a likely chance that Airbus may finally tackle the replacement for the A300B/A310 planes.
My guess? Imagine the original A300B1 fuselage design, but with a totally new low-drag wing, full fly-by-wire controls, new interiors inspired by that on the A340-500/600 series, next-generation hi-bypass engines with advanced quiet engine nacelle designs, and have at least enough range to fly USA transcon flights.
I think a large number of airlines would definitely interested in such a plane--think of it as a Next Generation A300B. I'm sure AF, AZ, IB, LH and even possibly BA may express interest in such a plane.
Arsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2220 times:
That could be airbus's next aim. The A300/310 are 60's 70's technology, maybe a bit more updated later on, but they are still old technology compared to newer modern jets such as the A330/777 etc. They definitely need to replace them for the medium range-twin aisle market.
LMML 14/32 From Malta, joined Jan 2001, 2565 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2087 times:
I will still maintain that the A330 in both its versions is a replacement A300/A310. Of course they are not the same family. But neither are the B757 and the B727. Yet one replaced the other.
As for the original thread starter saying "imagine the original A300 fuselage" - Airbus have never changed the original fuselage. They are still using the same old circular fuselage on the A340 as they did on the A300. Even the cockpit windows are the same and the upward slope of the cabin flooring at the rear. It is good economics and makes perfect sense.
Prebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6481 posts, RR: 54
Reply 13, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2070 times:
LMML 14/32, I agree totally. The 300/310 has come to a dead end just like the 707 and 727. There will be no upgrades or direct replacements.
But Airbus has a lot of ongoing projects at different stages:
A400M (the military transport)
Anyway it is absolutely viable to try to guess about the next project(s) which may come long time before the A380 gets in the air.
If we look very closely on the 318, then it looks a lot more like a prototype "320NG family plane" than just a further shortened A319. Many changes are not very visible, but still quite important modifications. Just to mention a few:
Much of the cockpit hardware will be totally new, based on newer generations of electronics. The most visible thing will be flat screens instead of CRT tubes, but that's only the surface of the "refreshments".
Many major structures will be laser welded instead of riveted as has been the norm during the last 75 years. It will save weight, reduce maintenance and extend safe fatigue life.
As soon as such things have been tested until failure, and certified on the A318, then we should expect these things - and maybe slightly improved engine subtypes - incorporated on 319/320/321"NG" planes. That may happen even before the A380 will fly.
Airbus does have a wide performance gap between the 321 and the 330. A couple of years ago they looked at a short 330 (first named 330-100, later 330-500), but it was cancelled considered too heavy and expensive. But they need a direct 757/767 competitor.
I wouldn't rule out a "322" completely. The 320 wing won't make it. That's right. But with a revised version of the Indian Airlines 320 4-wheel boogey landing gear, and a wing center plug (and other engines) it might be feasible to extend the upper end 320 family performance considerably and produce a capacity and range wise head on 757 competitor. A whole new wing cannot be ruled out, but the 757 segment market isn't all that big. And then comes the "Airbus holy cow": Total 320 family crew rating commonality.
Wing center plugs have been used before to enlarge a successful plane. DC-9 to MD-80 and 340-300 to 340-600 are what first comes into my mind.
There will be plenty of work to do in Toulouse during the next few years.
Best regards, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
RayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8018 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2039 times:
I think the primary reason why I said that something based upon the A300B1/B2 fuselage design is very likely Airbus' next project is simple: they won't need a lot expensive retooling to build such a plane.
It'll be smaller than the A330-200, but unlike the now-shelved A330-500 proposal it'll use a new, lighter and more aerodynamic wing design optimized for medium haul operations. I think you'll be surprised how many airlines want such a plane--it will maintain a fair level of commonality with the A300B/A330/A340 fleets, but the new A300 design will be designed for high-capacity routes that require a fairly large number of takeoff/landing cycles.
I mean let's face it folks: the current fleet of 767's and A300B's are starting to reach the point where C and D check overhauls are going to get quite expensive. AF would love to have a true A300B replacement operating on routes such as ORY-MAD, ORY-MUC, ORY-FCO, LH would love to use this new plane from FRA and MUC to LHR, ORY, MAD, BCN, FCO, and other European destinations, IB would love to have this new plane flying from MAD and BCN to the rest of Europe and the Canary Islands, EX would use this plane from DXB to somewhere less busy destinations in the Persian Gulf, etc. With the very likely possibility of many airports imposing slot restrictions as a noise-abatement measure, airlines are going to need larger planes designed for higher-cycle operations and a true A300B/A310 replacement could fill the bill easily.
Widebody From Ireland, joined Aug 2000, 1152 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1995 times:
The A318 and A340-600 are not considered as projects anymore......the only two current projects in Airbus at present are the A380 and the A400M....everything else has been suspended.......however, before Sept. 11, the next biggest project was the A330F.......the idea of an upgraded A300/A310 has been beaten to death by Airbus, and many papers were flying around with 'proposals'......this was about 2 years ago......nothing else has been heard since ......
Slawko From Canada, joined May 1999, 3799 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 1914 times:
I heard they are working with rubber-made corp to develop a new line of aerodynamic lunch containers...lol...just a little joke...
Actually an A310/A300 upgrade would be a great next step....although I am not a fan of it, a common A32X cockpit and flight system would be an ideal upgrade for the 300/310's they would not even have to build a new airplane just upgrade what they have, and maybe use newer more efficient engines to increase the MTOW or the Range of the airplanes...If they could extend the 310/300's range to about the same as a 767ER or a bit less it would fit in perfectly with airlines like Air Canada who operate a large number of 767's aswell as a large airbus fleet. Although I think to increase the range of the 300/310 by that much they would need a new more efficient wing, as well as lager fuel tanks...
"Clive Beddoe says he favours competition, but his actions do not support that idea." Robert Milton - CEO Air Canada