AdmiralRitt
Topic Author
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:05 pm

Alternative Cycle Counting

Wed May 11, 2011 8:16 pm

A friend and I were discussing the ecomics of usign an A380 for short haul commuter flights.
say you have two large centers of commerce within 70 miles of each other, but the expressway
is a parking lot during rush hours. The drive takes 2.5 hours. The train is not much better at 2 1/4 hours,
because one station does not align well to commerce at one end of the journey. Assuming you can
modify an A380 to carry 1,000. and find enough passengers willing to pay a high comuter rate.

While the economics are questionable, the only thing that would certainly be a deal maker for me
is the heavy cycling of the A380, after one year assuming 270 working days x 10 cycles, you
just put 2,700 cycles on a very expensive A/C .

Is there a mechanism in the rules of the FAA, to count cycles that don't go above 6,000 feet as a
fraction of one cycle. Additionally I presume to make such commuter plane work, there would be no
checked bags allowed, So really not using anything near MTOW and with obviously a low amount of fuel.
Are there FAA rules restricting jets from doing this type of flying because I am sure some municipalities
would object, (you can always temp them with related jobs though)
 
oly720man
Posts: 5760
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Alternative Cycle Counting

Wed May 11, 2011 10:52 pm

Even a 70 mile flight would get to over 6000ft wouldn't it?

Look to Japan. There are plenty of short haul commuter flights (1hr30 or so) that have used B744s and B773s and where an A380 may fit in. The ANA B747-481D had 569 seats. I'm not sure an A380 would get to 1000 seats.

What would you hope to gain by having a fraction of a cycle for a short and low flight? A plane's history is cycles (one per flight) and hours. There are sure to be maintenance procedures that are based on the number of cycles (tyres, brakes, etc) rather than hours, so why confuse matters?
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
aklrno
Posts: 1205
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:18 pm

RE: Alternative Cycle Counting

Thu May 12, 2011 12:32 am

Unless you have a large group of people who live at one airport and work at the other it is a silly idea. Getting to the airport (which may well be in the opposite direct you actually want to go), parking, security, boarding, and the reverse at the other end including local transport make a 70 mile flight look ridiculous in a large aircraft. Maybe it makes sense in a 19 passenger aircraft, commuter airport, and no security (like domestic flights in New Zealand).

At an airport large enough to accommodate an A380 the taxi, takeoff, approach and more taxing would cost you 30-40 minutes right there.

Nope. bad idea. 70 miles is ideal for a train, fix the roads, or move your home.
 
n737aa
Posts: 226
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:00 pm

RE: Alternative Cycle Counting

Thu May 12, 2011 1:47 pm

JAL has such a program for their aircraft and the FAA accepts it, They call it "KFACTOR". I have seen parts with 8130's from them that give the KFACTOR hours/cycles.
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: Alternative Cycle Counting

Fri May 13, 2011 8:49 pm

Quoting AdmiralRitt (Thread starter):
Is there a mechanism in the rules of the FAA, to count cycles that don't go above 6,000 feet as a fraction of one cycle.

Yes. As long as you can get your alternative maintenance plan approved (prove to the FAA that it meets their requirements), you can do it. In a case like this, it would almost certainly require OEM concurrence.

Quoting AdmiralRitt (Thread starter):
Are there FAA rules restricting jets from doing this type of flying because I am sure some municipalities would object

No blanket rules. There may be local airspace restrictions that might make it impractical in some locations.

Tom.

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