leelaw
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Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:04 pm

"Airbus stands firm on A380F programme despite UPS uncertainty"

Quote:
Airbus says it remains committed to its A380 freighter programme, despite the threat of cancellation from its only remaining customer UPS...

...Speaking to Flight during a flight on board the A380 yesterday, Airbus chief operating officer, customers John Leahy said: “UPS has to decide what it wants to do. I think they will come to a conclusion in the next couple of months. If they decide to cancel, that does not mean that we will cancel the programme...”

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...ramme-despite-ups-uncertainty.html

Additionally, Mr. Leahy remains hopeful FX will return to the program at a later point. IIRC, Mr. Clark of EK left this possibility open when he converted EK's freighter order to pax aircraft last May, but FX has had nothing to say along these lines since they announced their decision last fall.

[Edited 2007-02-08 12:09:50]

[Edited 2007-02-08 12:11:54]
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WINGS
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RE: Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:14 pm

It's understandable that even if UPS opts to abandon the A388F program, Airbus will indeed continue with this platform as it will built the bases for an eventual A380-800R and latter on the A380-900.

It's also worth noting that FedEx abandoned the A388F in favour for the B772F as they did not have money to support both acquisitions at the same time. It is for this very same reason that I expect FedEx to re-order the A388F at a latter date, hopefully by that time further improvements (engines, composites) would have made the A388F even more attractive.

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SEPilot
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RE: Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:19 pm

I do not understand why Airbus wants to build the A380F at all. A double deck freighter just doesn't make sense except for package delivery, and even there I don't see any advantage except size. This was one reason that Boeing did not make the 747 a double decker (everyone was expecting them to, especially Pan Am) because they believed that the SST would be coming and would take over most passenger runs leaving the 747 to carry freight. This is also why they made the cockpit on the second level. Making the A380 into a freighter is like buying a school bus and making it into a cargo van. You can do it but there are just better ways of getting there.
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leelaw
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RE: Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:24 pm

Quoting WINGS (Reply 1):
It's also worth noting that FedEx abandoned the A388F in favour for the B772F as they did not have money to support both acquisitions at the same time.

I've seen this theory repeated many times on A.net, nevertheless, do you have a link to any speculation along these lines reported in the news media?
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Danny
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RE: Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:29 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 2):
A double deck freighter just doesn't make sense

Will you explain why?

As far as I know great majority of worldwide cargo in transported in standard containers which can fill both decks.
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:47 pm

Quoting Danny (Reply 4):
Will you explain why?

Loading and unloading is vastly more difficult on the second deck, and the upper deck will not be strong enough to support concentrated loads. One of the main differences between a freighter and a passenger plane is the floor reinforcement; to make the second deck as strong would add too much weight. Also, since no interior is required taller objects can be carried on a single deck (provided they can get in the door) but this is not possible on a double decker.

[Edited 2007-02-08 12:48:54]
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
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Revelation
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RE: Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:51 pm

Quoting Leelaw (Thread starter):
If they decide to cancel, that does not mean that we will cancel the programme...

And it does not mean that we will notcancel the programme either!

Typical Leahy, you have to parse his words carefully.

Quoting WINGS (Reply 1):
It's understandable that even if UPS opts to abandon the A388F program, Airbus will indeed continue with this platform as it will built the bases for an eventual A380-800R and latter on the A380-900.

I doubt Airbus will construct an A380F without having a single order on the books.

If they get a customer signed up for the A380-800R or A380-900 first, they will build that plane first.

Yes, I know parts are already being built, but they can be stored till they are needed.

It'd be truly amazing if they spent the cash to construct the plane and get it certified without any paying customers. It's not like they are rolling in cash these days, and all it would do is make the program that much more in debt. Keep in mind a lot of the A380 parts are from third parties, so they'd be sending a lot of money outside the company to make it happen.

Why not spend the cash on getting the A350 out the door: at least there you have some paying customers, and good potential for a lot more in the future.
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Danny
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RE: Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:57 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 5):
taller objects can be carried on a single deck but this is not possible on a double decker.

That is the only valid advantage of high single decker over double decker. All the other points you mention can be solved without huge problem.
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:42 pm

Quoting Danny (Reply 7):
That is the only valid advantage of high single decker over double decker. All the other points you mention can be solved without huge problem.

Have you ever run a forklift? I have, and loading large objects twenty feet in the air is not a trivial task, especially when it is into a delicate aircraft costing over $100,000,000. The likelyhood of damage is extremely high. The alternative is elaborate ramps, which would be cumbersome and expensive. In my mind the extra capacity you would get over the 748 just is not worth the expense and aggravation.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
TinkerBelle
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RE: Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:53 pm

Airbus denies anything and everything so it won't surprise me if they come back tomorrow and say the program has been cancelled. I believe they'll cancel it eventually, at least till a later date.
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NYC777
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RE: Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:58 pm

Of course, Airbus is going to to stcik with the A380F, if they don't do so then it loss of pride and prestige and of course that the only reason the A380 exist.  duck   flamed 
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Dougloid
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RE: Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:52 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 5):
Quoting Danny (Reply 4):
Will you explain why?

Loading and unloading is vastly more difficult on the second deck, and the upper deck will not be strong enough to support concentrated loads. One of the main differences between a freighter and a passenger plane is the floor reinforcement; to make the second deck as strong would add too much weight. Also, since no interior is required taller objects can be carried on a single deck (provided they can get in the door) but this is not possible on a double decker.

Absolutely correct. My friend Nick who sells hog meat also has a degree in Transportation Logistics from Iowa State. He doesn't know a thing about airplanes but he knows quite a bit about moving things around.

I outlined the two airplanes to him in the freighter role and he really liked the B747 with the nose loading. See, each time you have to change directions in loading and unloading, it's just that much more time consuming and expensive. Essentially he says the same thing a lot of people say. If you're going to gross out, the B747's the choice. If you're going to cube out, the A380F is the way to go. On the other hand, it makes more sense to buy for GW, because you can always carry feather pillows but not the other way around.

And of course, there are lots of 747s, which means cheap parts and maintenance anywhere you like.
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:00 pm

I can see Airbus proceeding with the A380F program, period.

If they keep 5X, it will continue forward on it's current path.

If 5X cancels or defers, then it will be stopped for the time being and resume around 2011-2012 when A388P production is at full-tilt.

Even when it had no orders, many believed Boeing would not abandon the 747-8I, just push it's development back a bit to concentrate on the freighter. I see no reason to believe the same won't happen with the A380, just with the freighter deferring to the passenger model.
 
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RE: Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:04 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 12):
Even when it had no orders, many believed Boeing would not abandon the 747-8I, just push it's development back a bit to concentrate on the freighter. I see no reason to believe the same won't happen with the A380, just with the freighter deferring to the passenger model.

I don't really see the comparison. In the case of 747, it was a paper airplane that remained paper till someone ordered it. In the case of A380F, they started building pieces of it, so it's not a paper airplane. At some point, they are going to have to decide whether the parts will go into a warehouse or whether they will be assembled into an airplane. Leahy's statement just hints that they may choose to assemble the airplane even if UPS cancels. On the other hand, they may choose to put the parts into the warehouse. As usual, Leahy makes a splash by saying next to nothing!  Smile
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redflyer
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RE: Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:33 am

UPS has to decide what it wants to do. I think they will come to a conclusion in the next couple of months."

To me, that quote from Leahy is the most revealing comment from Airbus regarding the UPS order. Leahy didn't even try to put a positive spin on it. I think we can all safely assume that the UPS order for the WhaleJet is as good as gone. I wouldn't be surprised if the announcement has been delayed at the request of Airbus in order to bury it behind some large orders for other aircraft...around the Paris timeframe, perhaps?

Quoting Leelaw (Thread starter):
Additionally, Mr. Leahy remains hopeful FX will return to the program at a later point.

"We are years away from going back to give a presentation." (emphasis added)

With a comment like that from Leahy, I can't imagine they are too hopeful. Sounds like they've lost FX as a WhaleJet customer for the foreseeable future.
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus Firm On A380F Despite UPS Uncertainty

Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:12 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 13):
I don't really see the comparison. In the case of 747, it was a paper airplane that remained paper till someone ordered it. In the case of A380F, they started building pieces of it, so it's not a paper airplane.

I once proposed that Airbus may build an A380F anyway, but was informed that the only A388F pieces produced so far include the landing gear struts and a few other pieces with 12-month or longer lead-times. As most of the plane's structure has yet to be produced, "warehousing" those parts and deferring further development and construction would not impose too much hardship on Airbus should 5X cancel or defer their order.