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Some Huge Misunderstandings About A380...  
User currently offline747-600X From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2829 posts, RR: 13
Posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2834 times:

I have been reading some of the posts on the A380 and have become rather frightened that some of you might actually be under the impression that this aircraft will have 4 floors. A recent post suggested that it would, 2 for passengers and 2 for freight. There was a drawing from Popular Mechanics included. Let me be frank about that drawing - it is pure fantasy, highly incorrect, and totally devoid of any relation to the actual airplane.

In order to throw out the fiction and lay down the facts:
1 - The A380 will have the exact same number of floors as the 747, its cross-section will be nearly identical except for the fact that the upper deck will be a twin-aisle arrangement, rather than a single-aisle plan as on the 747.
2 - The A380 will have no more or less than 3 floors, which may or may not be used in combination or individually for Cargo, Passenger Seating, or Amentities, such as Shops and Stores, Bars, Sleeping Berths, or Cabins.
3 - The A380's lower deck will be the same as the lower decks of all other widebodies, inasmuch as it will feature a forward cargo lobe and an aft cargo lobe, divided centrally by a massive central fuel tank. This central division will also include areas for the landing gear to retract into.
4 - While there are a variety of options fantasized about for this lower deck, the fact is that it will be only marginally larger than that of any other widebody jet. Airlines will probably opt for efficiency and while sleeping berths may be an option and crew rest facilities are likely, discos, bars, and brothels are probably not as likely as some may prefer.

5 - The A380 will have two passenger floors, almost precisely the same width at the floor. Each will have twin aisle seating. Because the lower deck will have nearly vertical walls and the upper will have sharply curved ones, the seating on the upper deck will be constrained to a narrower area. The remaining space along the sides of the floor will be used for containers which will compensate for the very small overhead containers, exactly as seen on many 747-400s, except twice as wide. Because of the width of the lower deck, and the vertical nature of its walls, it will be possible to have standard overhead bins.

6 - A combi model of the A380 is offered, to carry both passengers and freight on the main or upper decks. However, because of the awkward nature of loading cargo to two floors, the Combi model will feature cargo and passengers only on the lower seating deck. The main cargo bays below will remain the same, but the central floor, the main seating one, will be divided about halfway back by a bulkhead just forward of the trailing edge of the wing. Behind that will be room for 11 standard 96x125" pallets or containers as carried by the 747-400. While 747-400Fs can carry taller containers because of the arched shape of their fuselage, the A380's two-floor design will restrict the height of containers to be the same as those which can be front-loaded by a 747. The upper deck on the Combi model will feature full-length passenger seating.

7 - Access between the two passenger decks will consist of a central staircase at the front of the plane as well as a curved one at the back, and two (or more, if desired by the airline) passenger elevators. Whether or not these staircases and elevators extend to the third lower deck will depend on whether or not passenger amentities are included there.

This information is all direct from Airbus Industrie in Paris, and fuselage cross sections clearly showing the 3-floor design can be clearly found on http://www.Airbus.com.

31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently onlineHeavierthanair From Switzerland, joined Oct 2000, 1010 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2557 times:


Hi 747-600X! Thanks for getting us down to earth, or should we call this a journey back to reality. The bus' folks will appreciate that.

Thought about changing your user name lately?



"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." (Albert Einstein, 1879
User currently offlineJean Leloup From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 2116 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2529 times:

Very useful clarifications, the PM images are disappointing, unless they were published before the design was decided on. of this I am not sure.

However, I must disagree with you on one major point. I don't think that the fuselage cross-section will be "nearly identical" to that of the 747. I believe that the upper deck is considerably larger. in the cross-seciton images you referred to, doesn't it show overhead bins on the walls of the upper deck? i may be mistaken, but I think so. The Max cabin width of the upper deck is described as 19 feet, 5 inches. This is only two feet narrower than the main deck (21'7"), and only 7 inches narrower than the 747's MAIN DECK (20ft), according to Boeing. i could not find the data for the 747's upper deck, though. The diagrams also show 9-across economy seating on the upper deck. I'm not sure, but I believe this is more than the 747's upper deck can handle. So I could be wrong, but i believe the 380's cross-section is quite different from the 747's, especially on the upper deck.

Next flight.... who knows.
User currently offlineBlatantEcho From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2030 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2426 times:


I also was completely blown away by the lack of information in the PM article about the A380. That is usually a level headed and factual magazine. Geared slightly to the future maybe, but there is no excuse for something that poorly reaserched.

a disguised *bump*


They're not handing trophies out today
User currently offlineSpaceman From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 534 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2376 times:

Stop with your bull shitting. There will not be any elevators in the A380, at least for passenger usage. and no curve stair case in the back. From the airbus site there is only one stair in the front where did you get that information about the stair in the back? The upper deck will not be as curved as you describe it be, according to airbus it will be similar to that of a A340 cabin in width and size.

User currently offline747-600X From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2829 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 2329 times:

First, as I mentioned in my original post, the only major difference between the cross sections would be that the upper deck of the A380 would be a twin-aisle design. Yes, there are overhead bins on the upper walls, but as with the 747-400 (one of many comparisons I'd hoped to acheive), they will be very small, and there will be containers along the floors on the sides (I suppose this is optional).

Second, it's not bullshit. There will be passenger elevators. Probably every airline in the world will be obliged to make these planes handicapped-accessible, and with a full upper deck there will come a point where it will be necessary for disabled people to get up there. So yes, there will be elevators. If you think it's unreasonable, remember that elevators are far more efficient space-wise than staircases as they operate entirely vertically.

Third, along with the non-bullshit thing, there will be a curved staircase in back. In fact, if you go to Airbus' website as I suggested, the seating plans shown even show it. It will be contoured to fit the aft pressure bulkhead.

Fourth, to finish off your allegations of my bullshitting, the upper deck will be far more curved than an A340's cabin. An A340's interior is a standard widebody mid-deck arrangement, with a flat ceiling allowing for large outter overhead bins. The inner ones will be similar on the A380, but the outter ones will essentially consist of breifcase-sized flats folding down from the ceiling. If you don't beleive that, then I suggest again that you go to your precious cross-sections. Those cross-sections, however, are very small images. Airbus has sent me multiple versions of the former A3XX CD (now the A380 CD) with high-resolution images. If I had a website I would post them, as I do not, I cannot. If you would like to offer me some webspace somewhere, I would be more than happy to provide you not only with those images but also plans of the mentioned Combi seating.

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30414 posts, RR: 57
Reply 6, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2299 times:

I think the way the four floor count came about is that somebody was counting the two cargo pits- one forward and one aft of the wing each as a seperate floor.

User currently offlineJsuen From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2264 times:

I don't know about the elevators. Sounds like an option that won't be too popular-- lots of maintainence. Wheelchairs already go up stairs at airports without jetways. Even if there are elevators, it seems that the kind with the fold-down platform that rides up the side of the stairs would be preferred.

Also remember, everything looks good in Airbus pictures, as money is no objective. I don't think many Combis will be produced-- regulatory issues. I'm a big Airbus fan, but remember, the complexity of a design does not scale linearly with the number of passengers.

User currently offlineRacko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4887 posts, RR: 19
Reply 8, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2253 times:

great post 747-600X !

i have some webspace, if you want you can send the images to me - rackodeluxe@gmx.de - and I will upload them and show them here in the thread

User currently offlineMx5_boy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2249 times:


The A380 will be the next JUMBO. No doubt about that. There will be absolutely nothing terribly fancy in these aircraft bar maybe extra space for pax.

Lets face it, airbus a/c are far superior in amenity and useability for airlines. That does not make them the best but they seem to outshine most other Boeing aircraft.

Lets wait and see what the A380 turns out to be for airlines before we criticise it too much. It could very well turn out like the 777 that most people despise flying longhaul.

The queen of the skies is the 747 but she is ageing badly - 30 years plus makes her a little long in the tooth.

Interesting times for those of us who travel longhaul. The A340 is great to travel on, as is the 767 and A330. But the 777 is awful.

Cheers guys,


A new star is born...

User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 4524 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2227 times:


Thanks for the interesting information - just one remark:

"Probably every airline in the world will be obliged to make these planes handicapped-accessible, and with a full upper deck there will come a point where it will be necessary for disabled people to get up there."

I can't see that coming. If you have two decks with, say, 300 seats on each one and will have 1st, Business and Economy on the lower deck, why should you be obliged to offer a disabled passenger an elevator to the upper deck if there is nothing but just more business/economy seats up there ? Just because you have someone who says I wanna sit on 34G, upper deck ? Sure, you must guarantee access to the airplane, but for sure not to every single seat by way of an elevator.

As an aside, legislation concerning non-discrimination of handicapped surely is a question of national laws and even if the US sometimes seems to believe differently  Wink/being sarcastic, US laws apply to the US, not to the rest of the world.  Wink/being sarcastic And, having said that, as US airlines stubbornly refuse to buy Airbus wide-bodies, they won't have any legal problems in that direction but, in 2040, will continue flying around their passengers in 50 year old Boeing 747-400s and 70 year old DC10-30s  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8364 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2195 times:

I think because of the design of the A380-800, it's very likely that handicapped passengers will be limited to the lower deck, not the upper deck. That is unless jetwalks are redesigned so they directly access the upper deck.

After all, one of Airbus' goals with the A388 is to maintain as much compatibility with current gates that accommodate the 747-400, namely the rear jetwalk will embark/disembark lower deck passengers and the front jetwalk will lead to the front of the plane, where there is a wide stairway to access the upper deck.

User currently offlineOD-BWH From Canada, joined Jan 2002, 406 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2185 times:

I think A380's will need a minimum of 2 hours for turnround (loading and unloading). Besides, if the A380 has the same parking space as the 747, so why are airports keen to modify their airport aprons?

A300, A319, A320, A321, A332, A333, A343, A346, A388, B734, B738, B744, B772, B773, B788, F70, MD11, CRJ700
User currently offlineQatar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2161 times:

Once again i am very very very sorry for posting the PM article or using information from it without verifying the information. It is just that i (used to) trust PM. 747-600X i think because you have the A3XX CD you should send PM some information from the CD so that they write more accurate articles.

User currently offlineDeanBNE From Australia, joined Jan 2016, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2157 times:

Nice posting, 747-600X but issue 1 needs some clarification. Indeed the cabin cross-section on both the main and upper deck of the A380 is considerably wider than the respective 744 decks.
Looked for the figures but they are quite confusing ie
A380 fuselage diameter - 7.14m
744 cabin diameter - 6.1m
Obviously these 2 figures cannot be compared but may give an idea


User currently offlineAirplay From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2134 times:

There seems to be alot of authoritative discussion here from people who clearly are NOT directly involved in the development of the A380.

There are no absolutes at this stage of the game. Many aircraft are delivered with unique configurations not envisioned by people outside of development.

How the hell can any of you say with any sort of certainty what the final configuration(s) will be?

Interesting speculative discussion is one thing, but scolding without solid insider information about an airplane that hasn't been built yet is ridiculous.

User currently offlineVgnAtl747 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1536 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2127 times:

There seems to be some mention of elevators. I highly doubt there will be passenger elevators, but there will most likley be a crew elevator like in the 747. The crew have to be able to move carts and stuff from floor to floor, and it's not practical to carry a cart filled with food up the stairs.

Work Hard. Fly Right. Continental Airlines
User currently offlineLowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2124 times:

Not only are the elevators maintenance intensive, but they add a lot of weight. Staircases, while they do take up considerable amounts of room, storage space for jackets, the IFE, etc. can compensate.

Finally, the elevators would make it easier for someone to take down the plane because it would become very easy to light something in there without anyone seeing or smelling it.

User currently offlineDC10Tony From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1012 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2105 times:

"its cross-section will be nearly identical as the 747."

If you go to the Airbus website, its cross section is 21'7" I believe. The 747's is 20'. Width this extra width of the A380 over the 747, you'd think it could do 11 abreast, but from the artist's rendering in Airliners Magazine, it only shows 10 abreast seating on the A380.

For the experts here:

What's the max abreast seating a 747 has ever had?

And how many seats in the cross section do you think the A380 will be able to accomodate?

User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6210 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2080 times:

All the shops / sleeping areas / bars / casinos that people would love to see in the A380 would be great, but in the end, most airlines will cram in boring old economy class seats.  Crying

Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8364 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2039 times:


I think Airbus may enforce the 555-pax limit on the A380-800 at least for now due to the ICAO regulations that require evacuation of everyone from the plane in 90 seconds using 50% of the available exits. Because of that limitation, expect a lot of very creative seating designs for the A388 by the time the first A388's enter service in the spring of 2006. For example, SQ's Raffles business class on the A388 could end up being almost as good as the First Class seating on the 747-400 now.

User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 7142 posts, RR: 53
Reply 21, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1983 times:

Airplys said it best.

The airlines, which ordered the 388, still have years to come up with their interior configuration plan.

If they have plans today, then they may still be changed several times before the first passenger service.

And thanks to 747-600X for a good description of the options.

I agree that it will be hard to imagine a 388 without a lift for disabled people, wheelchairs and catering carts etc. But hardly one to be used by ordinary pax or children to play with during flight. But that will all be up to the airlines. Airbus will just put in what their customers want.

Regards, Preben Norholm

Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
User currently offline747-600X From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2829 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1931 times:

Well, the elevator thing I'll grant you, but the weight bit I'm not sure about. After all, an elevator need be only large enough for a wheelchair, so you've got considerably less flat-out surfaces than you would with a staircase.

As far as the PM article goes, don't worry about it. As long as things are getting straightened out now.

I will maintain one thing though - The cross section is - and this is obviously an opinion - very nearly identical to that of the 747. The only major difference is that the upper deck is twin-aisle rather than single.

Also - the A380 could easily hold 11-abreast or even 12-abreast. With a fuselage as wide as it has, a 12-abreast plan would still feature seats wider than those on a 777 in 3-4-3 seating, and some of those are in use by British Airways. With 11 or 12 abreast Economy seating and only a handful of first-class seats, there is no reason for which the A380 could not surpass 1000 seats. Evacuation concerns, therefore, will be the ultimate restraining factor.

User currently offline747-600X From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2829 posts, RR: 13
Reply 23, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1938 times:

I will be EMailing some images to Racko who has offered to use some of his webspace to post them.

I will ask him to post them in a new, unrelated post so that anyone can view them without necessarily having any interest in this post and so that those of you who've already read this one nine times don't have to keep coming back. Hopefully, he will name the post something obvious like, "A380 Plans and Cross-Sections", etc.

Anyway, the images I am sending him, and it will be up to him to post whichever of them he pleases, will include:

1) A computer graphic of the entranceway to the plane, with the large main stairwell leading to the second floor, a large passenger elevator shown with its door open, and the half-flight of stairs to the flight deck which is located between the first and second floors.

2) Hi-resolution suggested seating plans for the A380-700, -800, -900, and -800Combi.

3) Hi-resolution cross-sections showing Economy seating on both floors and First on the lower and Business on the upper, as well as a little "bonus" image showing how the fuselage cross-section is drawn from four overlapping and tangent circles.

4) A rather large bonus image showing all of the planes Airbus considered in designing the A380, including a 747-look-alike and a four aisle twin-cabin, V-tail jet. In these images you'll see that they did consider 3-5-3 seating several times.

Hopefully he will post all 4.


User currently offlineAcidradio From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1880 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (14 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1870 times:

I think they need a bowling alley. Yeah, that and a swimming pool too. And a hot tub. For Hugh Hefner, when he flies on an A380. Yeah.

Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
25 SailorOrion : I dont think any airline will be using a 12 seat arrangement. However, I have info that Qantas is planning to do a 3-5-3 in Y class (ouch!). The 555 p
26 DeanBNE : 747-600X wrote: "The cross section is - and this is obviously an opinion - very nearly identical to that of the 747" and then wrote: "Also - the A380
27 Japanguy : Can you imagine a pax elevator in an emergency stop. That think would be come a thousand pound bulldozer and wipe out anything in front of it (like th
28 747-600X : Peoples, I don't know what you're thinking is so heavy about an elevator. My mother used to work for the company which designs them and I'll tell yah,
29 VirginFlyer : Lets settle this elevator thing - no one has pointed out that 747s have them. They are used to move the galley carts to the upper deck. They are not t
30 BOEING NUT : SailorOrion, Keep in mind that 555 passengers will not be the maximum amount that the A380 will carry. I think the A380 will be able to hold nearly 70
31 747-600X : There is no perfectly good reason for which the A380 couldn't hold, in terms of passengers in a fuselage (rather than safety maximums) 1000 people. Gi
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