Posts: 1943
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 3:35 pm

A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Sun Sep 01, 2002 8:12 am

Funny how I see so many of you state that the A380 will do this and the A380 will do that.

One thing that the A380 will end up as will be the worlds fastest passenger to cargo transition for a passenger designed aircraft.

These flying elephants will fly the long haul routes for a few years and then companies like FedEx, UPS, DHL and the like, will gobble up the rest of these "Bristol Brabazons" of the 21st century and use them exclusively as cargo transporters.

Imagine checking thru customs after a 12 hour flight and you are passenger number 537 and your A380 was the third one to land in 30 minutes. With enhanced security measures being put forth as well, we can all see the nightmare that will ensue. In today's fast paced world, passengers are going to hate that.

One area that the A380 may see some success in is the short haul Japanese market. The Tokyo-Osaka "bus" service crammed to the gills with quiet non-complaining Japanese.

Are these the markets that Airbus wants for it's A380? Perhaps there is a market for third world people haulers.

Fly one when it comes out for the novelty if anything.

This is the future  Smile Or something like it.

Bring on the rebuttals!

"You Can't Beat The Experience"
Posts: 2613
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2000 8:11 pm

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Sun Sep 01, 2002 8:45 am

I seem to recall the 747 "was way too big for exclusive passenger use" in the design stages... and it was likely to simply become an exclusive cargo aircraft with very few all-passenger configs.

Over 1,000 747s in service and how many are cargo?? Not many.

Don't mean to start a debate here, but I think you're wrong.

Whilst the A380 has excellent cargo potential, with forecast growth in the passenger air travel market over the next 10 years alone, we will see more passenger A380s than cargo by a long way.

One thing the A380 will revolutionise is passenger handling, it doesn't have to remain the way it is. There are airlines flying aircraft already with over 500 people in them, nearly 600 in some cases, on every single flight, and do they manage? Yep.

I fly 767-300s with 327-odd people in them to remote parts of the Caribbean with probably some of the worst passenger service infrastructure around, and do we manage? Yep. Half as many passengers again won't harm anyone, but it will mean the airports will have to be prepared. That's all there is to it.
I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
User avatar
Posts: 4247
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2000 12:27 pm

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Sun Sep 01, 2002 10:40 am

Clipperhawaii - you are missing a really important point - a lot of airports around the world have a restricted number of arrival and departure slots, and many of them are pushing close to this number. You physically can't fit more aircraft into these airports without compromising safety. The only way to allow passenger growth is to provide bigger aircraft.

The problem people have (on this board anyway) is that they are looking at the global aviation industry as a uniform thing - i.e. what's true for the East Coast of the USA is true for South East Asia. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. In the USA, you have a relatively even spread of population along a long strip of land. You have airports dotted up and down this strip, and inland as well. Flights from these cross the Atlantic to numerous airports in Europe, in 5-8 hours (I believe that's the flight times we're looking at - correct me if I am wrong here). Such a layout is well suited to higher frequency flights using smaller aircraft. However, flights from Europe to Asia follow a different pattern, For one, they are usually twice as long, and either have to arrive or depart at rather inconvenient times. Secondly, it becomes a matter of trying to schedule flights so that they depart and arrive on the correct side of curfews. For example, British Airways has (or had last year anyway) two flights to Hong Kong, both 747-400s, that depart within 10 minutes of each other. Such a route is simply not conducive to higher frequency, because the flights would either depart or arrive at ridiculous times, and even if people were willing to do this, airports would likely not allow it because of overnight curfews.

So, what does this mean? Just like today there is a market in the international aviation industry both for Hub-Hub big airliners (747) as well as point to point smaller ones (767), so in the future there will still be this market, with the point-point routes increasing in frequency as much as they can allow (eventually they too will run up against a slot or curfew barrier), while hub-hub flights will simply require larger aircraft.

"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
Posts: 3467
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:01 am

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Sun Sep 01, 2002 7:03 pm

I seem to recall that the leap in passenger capacity from the 707 to the 747 was a damn sight more than from the 747 to the A380. Passengers should therefore have been horrified at the prospects for airport queues. Yet, as has been demonstrated, the 747 is a commercial success.

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Sun Sep 01, 2002 8:50 pm

Without a swing nose, the A380 freighter will only be viable for the intercontinental shipment of parcels for the likes of FedEx ... it is simply not a viable competitor for the B747-400LXR F.
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 1999 12:47 am

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Sun Sep 01, 2002 8:57 pm

The way I understood it, is that FX's A380 will actually 'circle around the world' and connect all bigger and smaller HUBs.
The market introduction of the A380 as PAX A/C with added underfloor capacity will however, in my point of view, see the de-crease of cargo rates as, of course, added space is available & airlines won't be very keen to fly any dead weight on that 'Monster', unless they really start the projected Bars, McDonalds, Starbucks etc in the underfloor.
"I really don't know one plane from the other. To me they are just marginal costs with wings."� Alfred Kahn, 1977

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Sun Sep 01, 2002 10:01 pm

I have a brochure from Lockheed dating back to 1970 where they say exactly the same things about the L1011 as Airbus is saying about the A380 ... but the reality is that only one airline (PSA) used the underfloor space for a lounge. Everyone else used it for cargo ... and I have no doubt at all that the same will happen with the A380.
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Sun Sep 01, 2002 10:23 pm

The problem with the A380 is that it is a two story aircraft, that second main deck is going to limit how tall your loads are going to be.

On a 747 freighter, as long as you aren't under the hump, you can go right up to the top of the cabin.
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2001 5:58 pm

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Sun Sep 01, 2002 10:57 pm

3 points.

1. I agree with those that say the A380 is not much of a leap upwards as compared to the 747 in its time, and the market forces will create the need for it.

2. Freighter version, the door on the side is big enough to accomodate more than 90% of what is currently needing to be nose-loaded on the 747.

3. The 3 floors will only limit about 5% of the cargo, for the rest of what is carried it will allow increased utilization, better turnaround times and common container size.
UPS Pilot
Posts: 840
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:17 pm

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Sun Sep 01, 2002 11:25 pm

MMMM' FX using the A380 for around the world flights? This is a great idea but UPS uses the 767-300 for this. It allows for more frequencies, faster turnaround times and it's cheaper to operate. The only thing I can see the a380 used for in cargo would be flights accross the Pacific.
Posts: 1372
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 1999 7:49 am

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Mon Sep 02, 2002 12:41 am

I seriously doubt that the A380 will be the "ultimate" freighter. Maybe for integrators like Fedex, yes, but I still think that it is not very useful for general cargo airlines :

1) The decks are only as high as the 747 below the upper deck, i.e. 2.40m compared to the 3m height of the 747 behind the upper deck

2) the upper deck is very contoured, meaning that only palletts like for a narrowbody aircraft can be loaded

3) It might be the case for Fedex that 90% of all cargo don't require a nose door to be loaded. But if you take a general cargo airline and see how often oil drilling equipment, escalators, ship masts, long machinery etc are carried, the lack of a nose door would mean to give up a good high-yield market.

4) Due to the side cargo doors on both decks, the A380 will require special highloaders who can reach the upper deck. Not too many airports will provide this without having the airline pay for it - directly or indirectly. You will certainly find these highloader types in JFK, LHR, HKG, LAX, but what about Bogota, Nairobi, or even for a diversion from HKG to Macao?

So even though I am not at all a Boeing fan, I consider a 747-400F development as a far better cargo aircraft than the A380. Pure volume and 20 tons more payload is not everything...


Posts: 1766
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 12:31 am

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Mon Sep 02, 2002 1:33 am

UPS Pilot, just look at the history of your airline, and then you will probably agree with me that within 8 years, you will be in the cockpit of on of the UPS A380.
UPS has started its current airline when it realize the success of Fedex.
And to develop the airline, they have bought a lot of forme FX/FT planes (747, DC8, 727)
Some of them are still flying today.
Then UPS has tried the boeing option, with757 and 767 at the time Fedex choose the A300 family.
And guess what..... a few years later, UPS has decided to buy the Bus....
MD11 is arrinving at UPS too .....

Today, Fedex has ordered the A380. That's why I am pretty sure that within 3/4 years, UPS will order it too.

this order is not to operate the round the world flight.It is to increase capacity in airports with limited slots or traffic rights. For instance, if you can operate one flight per day between the USA and China, the only way to deal with demand is to have a bigger plane.
Cost is important too. 1 A380 instead of 2 MD11 between CDG and MEM means 4 engines vs 6, 1 crew vs 2, ....

And for FX or UPS, the advantage of the A380 vs the 747 is a better use of the space. For express, airlines use containers. On a 747, it means 30% of the volume of the main deck is not used. 2 decks mean a better use of the volume.
That's for the same reason the A380 will not be a success with traditional frt operators.
Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
UPS Pilot
Posts: 840
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:17 pm

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Mon Sep 02, 2002 6:53 am

As far as UPS learning from Fed Ex, You're right. In the early days UPS didn't know squat about the airline business. They are doing well now. As far as copying Fed Ex on Aircraft, thats a different story. Fed Ex flys alot of 727-200's and Airbus A310's. UPS opted for the 757pf. This has been an excellent aircraft that the 727-200 can't hold a stick too. The 727-100 has been re-engined for noise and also refitted with new avionics where as the FX 727-100's are hushkitted with "steam" gauges. The DC-8 will still be flying with UPS for quite a number of years. The 8 has been a great aircraft for UPS and continues so. The only reason some were bought from FX was because FX didn't want to operate the ones they inherited from the purchase of Tigers. The 767 was chosen over the MD-11 intially because UPS needed lift between the DC-8 and the 747. The 767 as been great with this. The 747 is getting a little old and the MD-11 has been proven to be an excellent freighter to Asia for Fx. The MD-11 is cheaper to fly than the 747 to Asia. This is primarily due though to all of UPS' 74's being 100's and 200's. The A300 was needed as a replacement for the DC-8. Right now they are working side by side but eventually they will take over for the DC-8. Airbus made a deal to UPS that UPS could not pass up. The A310 is not even considered in UPS fleet plans. Now for long range fleet plans, UPS is negotiating with both Boeing and Airbus. I'm seeing in the future though the 747-400 SF program rolling out. This would probably be the best choice for UPS since there will be alot of 747-400 passenger jets sitting in the desert. There may also be some 747-400 freighters on the used aircraft market as well. We will have to see how well Atlas/Polar will do in the coming years. I know the A380 is an option but the airframe has not been proven yet. The 75/76 was chose on a proven airframe. The A380 hasn't got off the ground yet. UPS will let Fx be the guinea pig for this one. Fred Smith has a lot of Balls. He always has shot from the hip when making aircraft purchases. He will fly some A380's and make money on selling his options. That's my prediction. But then again he wanted the MD-10 program that turned into a dog. Sometimes fred wins and sometimes he doesn't.
Posts: 2064
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 1999 9:49 am

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Mon Sep 02, 2002 8:33 am

I don't like the example with oh so many people and 3 A380's arriving at the same time. I have been at LHR when 4 or 5 747's and a few smaller planes arived at virtualy the same time. The fact is that if there is no bigger plane built then there will just be more flights. Which do you prefer. More planes or bigger planes. When it comes to safety I prefer the latter.
User avatar
Posts: 15703
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:26 pm

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Mon Sep 02, 2002 8:42 am

Don't the end of this decade, a large number of used pax 744's will flood the market.....and 744F conversions will begin.

A converted, used 744F will be a damned site cheaper than a new A380F. The only type of cargo than warrants new aircraft is high yield next-day cargo....and there is not much of that on routes that warrant the A380F.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
Posts: 1207
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:58 am

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Mon Sep 02, 2002 11:08 am

UPS Pilot,

What's wrong with the MD-10?

Posts: 6200
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 12:58 pm

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Mon Sep 02, 2002 11:39 am

Back to the original post.

"One thing that the A380 will end up as will be the worlds fastest passenger to cargo transition for a passenger designed aircraft."

That record will forever be held by the MD-11. The first 2 posts hit it on the head. I was around when the 747 first entered service, although a wee sprite and remember all the reports of gloom and doom it would bring. Hell, the beast came into TUS in 1973 without a hitch.

The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
Posts: 1631
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2000 12:55 am

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Mon Sep 02, 2002 3:02 pm

Just one note.

Of all the airports that are slot limited. Only a few of them apply these limits to cargo flights.
UPS Pilot
Posts: 840
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:17 pm


Mon Sep 02, 2002 8:45 pm

I have never flown one so I can't comment directly but all the Fed Ex pilots that I know that fly them, Hate them!!! I had one tell me that "it's like trying to polish a turd" I'll get some more technical information for you. Both Boeing and Fed Ex have canceled the project though.
UPS Pilot
Posts: 840
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:17 pm

RE: A380 As The Ultimate Cargo Transporter

Mon Sep 02, 2002 8:48 pm

Why hasn't the An225, the C-5, C-141 and the C-17 been adopted by major cargo airlines? Why is there so much fuss over the A380 though. I'd figure the C-5 with front and rear loading would make much more sense  Smile

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos