rootsair
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A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:29 pm

Until now Airbus has used its very distinctive beluga as a supertansporter. A modified A300.
However as you know the Beluga was too small to carry A380 fuselage as that was a major limiting factor in A380 manufacturing!

Couldn't airbus modify an the A380 in the way they modified the A300 to the Beluga to carry A380 parts?

And if not possible, Airbus could use an A380 anyways to carry parts around Europe. The A380 being much bigger than the beluga could mean less roundtrips for Airbus and hence a gain of time and money.

Regards

BM

[Edited 2006-12-20 14:34:49]
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A342
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:00 pm

Well, they have already leased the ships and enlarged roads for the A380 parts transport, so now it's somewhat too late.

They considered a modified A346 to carry A380 parts, but I can't remember why they rejected the idea.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
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Stitch
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:03 pm

I don't believe Airbus could remove the upper deck of the A388 which would be required to allow it to take loads the current Beluga handles. Perversely, Airbus would be better off ordering 747LCFs as it is the better platform.
 
A342
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:07 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Perversely, Airbus would be better off ordering 747LCFs as it is the better platform.

IIRC still too small for the A380 fuselage. What's the diameter of the cargo bay ?
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Rj111
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:07 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Perversely, Airbus would be better off ordering 747LCFs

That would be a cold day in hell.  laughing   bigthumbsup 
 
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Stitch
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:09 pm

Quoting A342 (Reply 3):
IIRC still too small for the A380 fuselage. What's the diameter of the cargo bay ?

Oh no way an completed A380 fuselage would fit. I don't think it will fit in any currently operating heavy lifter.

But as a replacement for the Beluga, the A388 would not be a viable platform compared to the LCF. However, since A350 fuselages look unlikely to be delivered pre-assembled, the Beluga should suffice.
 
baroque
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:30 pm

Quoting A342 (Reply 1):
Well, they have already leased the ships and enlarged roads for the A380 parts transport, so now it's somewhat too late.

It seems a pity, but basically you would need some A380 frames before you could build a transporter and to get them you needed the ships and roads and all. So it was a bit like lifting yourself up by the shoelaces.

But you do have to wonder if the beast had a transporter version built in as part of Plan A, if it might not have been a more effective in the freighter version due to carry over.
 
PanHAM
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:55 pm

Even if, they would need an enlarged fuselage to carry A380 fuselage sections. The logistics are set and proven by now, there is no need for a A380 Beluga.

Such an enlarged A380 would have no effect on the freighter viability either. The Belugas are chartered out occasionally, but these are niche markets which are also covered by the A124/225.
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mbj2000
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:59 pm

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 4):
Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Perversely, Airbus would be better off ordering 747LCFs

That would be a cold day in hell. laughing bigthumbsup

Indeed! But what about the opposite, could Boeing have used the Beluga to transport 787 parts?  Smile
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iowa744fan
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:03 am

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 4):
That would be a cold day in hell.

Do you remember what type of aircraft the old "Guppies" were? They were modified Boeing 377s, so the concept isn't too far out of the realm!  Smile

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PanHAM
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:04 am

Quoting Iowa744Fan (Reply 9):
Do you remember what type of aircraft the old "Guppies" were? They were modified Boeing 377s, so the concept isn't too far out of the realm!

OK,but that soltion had to be taken because there was no Airbus a/c around then. Besides that, the guppies had been modified in the US befoe Airbus used them. After AB used the Guppies they ook up the idea later an modified several 306s.
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Stitch
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:22 am

Quoting MBJ2000 (Reply 8):
Indeed! But what about the opposite, could Boeing have used the Beluga to transport 787 parts?  Smile

I do not believe so, as the 787 fuselage is wider then the A330/A340 (which I believe the Beluga carries? Or is it only A320 family fuselages?) and I don't think there is much spare clearance.
 
dw747400
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:33 am

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 4):
That would be a cold day in hell.

To be fair though, Airbus used a Boeing for quite some time---they just bought it used.
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ikramerica
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:39 am

BTW - I believe this is one reason the 350XWB is not being made in complete barrel sections.

They have had a nightmare with the A380 and wish they had never done the transporting they designed.

The A300 Transporters are not large enough to take the larger A350X fuselage sections as a whole.

Thus it require new Transporters to transport complete barrels. But not long panels and wings. They can fit. And the tail and cockpit sections can be spun sections as well, because they are physically smaller around than the rest of the fuselage, so they fit.

I don't think Airbus would ever come out at say it, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the reason the A350X is designed the way it is...
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Rheinbote
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:49 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
A350 fuselages look unlikely to be delivered pre-assembled

How did you conclude that?
 
ikramerica
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:55 am

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 14):
How did you conclude that?

I came to the same conclusion, because they don't have an air transport, and the ground transport system of the A380 is an admitted nightmare.

Now, it might come by ship. If only TLS was a port town. Hamburg is, but final assembly won't be in Hamburg...
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Rheinbote
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:25 am

Imagine the industrial set-up of Airbus in 2010 - may be quite different from today. Why drop the proven pre-assembly concept if you can have a final assembly line at port towns like St. Nazaire or Rostock?
 
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Stitch
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:29 am

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 14):
How did you conclude that?

Rank speculation, to be honest, based on the production process Airbus has said they will use. I imagine it would be easier to ship fuselage ribs and panels seperately to TLS and perform final assembly of them there. Plus the fact that if Airbus air-shipped pre-assembled fuselage barrels to TLS, they'd need a 747LCF because they're not going to fit into a Beluga and you can't make an A388LCF.
 
Rheinbote
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:44 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 17):
you can't make an A388LCF

If need be, an LCF based on the A342 or the A332 would probably do.
 
TeamAmerica
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:08 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
However, since A350 fuselages look unlikely to be delivered pre-assembled, the Beluga should suffice.



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 13):
BTW - I believe this is one reason the 350XWB is not being made in complete barrel sections.

 scratchchin Interesting point. Is the design of the A350 is being compromised to utilize available infrastructure? Given that the stated cost of the A350 project exceeds that of the B787, and that the cost of the B747LCF is included in 787 program costs (I presume)...I say hmmm. Why can't Airbus afford a new, larger transporter?
 alert Totally unsubstantiated speculation follows: Declaring it "impossible" to transport complete sections of the A350 goes a long way toward maintaining work in Toulouse. This may be a motivating factor for avoiding consideration of a new supertransporter.

I'm going to pay close attention to details like this...should be fun and informative.
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Devilfish
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:09 am

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 16):
Why drop the proven pre-assembly concept if you can have a final assembly line at port towns like St. Nazaire or Rostock?

Then Airbus should begin investing in putting up those final assembly sites now, which given their current financial crunch, would be a big undertaking.

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 18):
If need be, an LCF based on the A342 or the A332 would probably do.

Which still couldn't take A350 fuselage barrels, thus reverting to the more economical and efficient Belugas transporting smaller sections. And where would it deliver the parts in St. Nazaire or Rostock just in case?
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GQfluffy
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:13 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 7):
The logistics are set and proven

Are thy still transporting parts through that one small town? I seem to remember a show on the telly showing wings going through a small town at night with only inches to spare, and to do that they had to shut everything down completely in that town.
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Buyantukhaa
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:21 am

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 16):
Why drop the proven pre-assembly concept if you can have a final assembly line at port towns like St. Nazaire or Rostock?

Well Hamburg is a port town so no need to move to Rostock I think  Smile
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Stitch
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:21 pm

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 18):
If need be, an LCF based on the A342 or the A332 would probably do.

Since the Beluga is based on the A306, which shares the same cross section with the A332 and A342, I'm with DEVILFISH in that it would not be sufficient unless expanded even wider.

That being said, evidently Airbus performed a design study of a similarly configured A340, to be named the A340ST Mega Transporter, to carry A388 components. I don't see how it could carry A388 fuselage sections, but I could see it possibly carrying the A388's wings (should be able to put two of them into an enlarged-fuselage A343).

So it could be possible for Airbus to "super size" an A343 to make it wide enough to fly the three primary fuselage structures of the A350X, though I still say buying a 747LCF would be faster and easier.

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ikramerica
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:26 pm

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 19):
Is the design of the A350 is being compromised to utilize available infrastructure?

No, you can't look at it that way.

All industrial designs have to be built. The process of figuring out how to build them often leads to changes. This is true in cars, planes, boats, houses, etc.

Airbus may have determined that for their business model, the panels process is more cost effective and gives up marginally little in weight compared to the expensive logistics of getting large, completed sections to their inland "capital" of Toulouse. Since they have to compete on performance AND cost, that's a bean counter decision, but not a negative one.

It also might explain why Airbus was SOOOO reluctant to move away from the 330/340 fuselage diameter. Nothing else will fit in a Beluga...

Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Reply 22):
Well Hamburg is a port town so no need to move to Rostock I think

Where have I heard that before...  Wink
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PanHAM
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:56 pm

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 21):

Are thy still transporting parts through that one small town? I seem to remember a show on the telly showing wings going through a small town a

They haven't changed the original logistics concept. There is road transport of A380 fuselage barrels as well as wings to the finalö assempblyline on TLS
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Emirates2005
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:17 pm

A thought: How about Dubai World Central as the new assembly line? Given the sheer size of the airport this MAY be an option. How to get parts from Europe? I guess a combination of Beluga and ships.

Regards,  wave 
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Rheinbote
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:41 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 23):
Since the Beluga is based on the A306, which shares the same cross section with the A332 and A342, I'm with DEVILFISH in that it would not be sufficient unless expanded even wider.

Internally the current A300-608ST is a little more than 7m in both width and height to accomodate widebody cross-sections of 5.64m in diameter. A350XWB cross-section is still less than 6m. A new Belouga wouldn't need to be that much bigger (if at all) to effectively rule out an A33x/A34x platform. Has Airbus even ruled out yet that XWB barrels could be hauled with current Belougas?  scratchchin 

Whatever...

Quoting Stitch (Reply 23):
it could be possible for Airbus to "super size" an A343 to make it wide enough to fly the three primary fuselage structures of the A350X

 checkmark  but would cost > $1bn

In case the A306ST proves indeed insufficient, a purchase of 744LCFs could indicate that Airbus is run as a business, and not a combinate. Airbus and Boeing could even share a spare airframe or set up a joint company for operating 744LCFs...

Selecting Hamburg as the final assembly site may be the most economical solution overall - unless a new plant at Rostock would entitle Airbus to receive huge German and EU 'incentives' for industrial development in the poor East of Germany.
 
scouseflyer
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RE: A380 As Airbus' New Supertransporter?

Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:48 pm

Quoting A342 (Reply 1):
They considered a modified A346 to carry A380 parts, but I can't remember why they rejected the idea.

In one of the discovery channel docos they show a concept of an A340 transporter which carried A380 wings by strapping them to the top of the fuselage - the worlds only 3 winged plane!