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btfarrwm
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A380 for military charters?

Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:08 pm

In the 747 thread I've read that multiple 747-400 passenger frames are being used for military charters. I haven't seen any discussion or proposal for using retired A380s for similar purposes. It seems there will be frames available, and I wonder why EU countries haven't considered this option with the large number of relatively-young A380 frames that will be hitting the market in the very near future.
 
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par13del
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:18 pm

Most likely because the EU countries invested heavily in the A400M which is now proving itself, an additional reason could also be that they do not move troops around the world in any quantity where they would need the capacity of the A380.
 
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flee
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:20 pm

I suspect part of the reason could be political - A380s have the flagship image and it may appear to be too expensive and luxurious for the military. Governments do not want to appear to be wasting taxpayers' money. This may even be true even if the A380 is no more expensive to charter.
 
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Polot
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:27 pm

Aircraft the size of A380 are not routinely needed to move troops around, and military charters are not frequent enough to buy an aircraft solely dedicated to them (especially if there are few active campaigns going on). HiFly has demonstrated how large the A380 charter market is outside of military ie not very large.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:36 pm

I would say that the widespread use of 747-400Fs makes it easier to use 747-400s for passenger charters. There are many freighter operators using the 747 to military locations. There is plenty of support for the airplane including ground equipment, gates, taxiways, etc including at military airfields. Atlas Air is the worlds biggest 747 operator. It’s relatively easy for them to operate a few passenger 747s alongside their massive 747F network. It would be very difficult for them to add A380s.

As a side note, I believe 767s are more commonly used for US troop transport than 747s
 
TC957
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:22 pm

I would suspect many military airports that troop flights would need to operate to won't have the infrastructure to handle A380's.
I'm talking about things like taxiway width / strength and general ground / handling facilities.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:42 pm

Much, much cheaper to use the civilian airlines for this purpose.
 
amstone17
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:09 pm

btfarrwm wrote:
In the 747 thread I've read that multiple 747-400 passenger frames are being used for military charters. I haven't seen any discussion or proposal for using retired A380s for similar purposes. It seems there will be frames available, and I wonder why EU countries haven't considered this option with the large number of relatively-young A380 frames that will be hitting the market in the very near future.


The US is the country that moves the most troops around, and they have set contracts with US providers that have all the equipment they need. US won't charter, say, HiFly for an A380 just because, they have cheaper contracts with the likes of Atlas and Kalitta and their 747-400s.

As for European forces, they don't need something of that capacity. The biggest operators have everything they need with their existing fleets of transports including various MRTTs. You might see an exceptional charter here and there, but for the vast majority of operational needs, there's no need for an A380


As much as it would be nice to see a future for the type, there doesn't seem to be much of one. Plus, in terms of operational efficiency, there's an ever growing market of used A330s and 777s out there that will be much more attractive to operators.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:23 pm

flee wrote:
I suspect part of the reason could be political - A380s have the flagship image and it may appear to be too expensive and luxurious for the military. Governments do not want to appear to be wasting taxpayers' money. This may even be true even if the A380 is no more expensive to charter.


Everybody should know that military maneuvers are just burning money no matter how they do it - they're not producing goods or services for sale. Nobody should care in what aircraft they fly, two 767s or one A380.

Perhaps closer to a real explanation is that few parties other than the U.S. are moving large numbers of troops in intercontinental service, and U.S. passenger and freight operators don't have A380s.
 
airbazar
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:45 pm

HiFly does a lot of military charters, it's a big part of their business and they have decided to retire their sole A380. So I'd say that the demand for an A380 for military charters is even lower than for commercial passenger service.
 
btfarrwm
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:09 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Everybody should know that military maneuvers are just burning money no matter how they do it - they're not producing goods or services for sale. Nobody should care in what aircraft they fly, two 767s or one A380.


That was part of my thinking. With the huge capacity of the A380, perhaps movements that now require 2 or 3 separate flights could be accomplished on a single aircraft. Space isn't usually as big a constraint on military bases as it is in commercial or cargo ops. They could remove all the seats from the lower deck and use it exclusively for equipment and cargo.
 
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mercure1
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:33 pm

How many EU nations need to carrry large numbers of military long distances?

Only one I know is France, and its has its COTAM fleet - DC-8/A340 and now A330 for such missions.

Also as others mentioned the A380 is hardly a practical aircraft with limited number of airports that can accomodate the type physically and limited ground handling support.
 
texl1649
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:53 pm

The US military has for many years used contracted services/carriers to do this (often with MD-11’s or DC-10’s as with World, or of course HiFly today...) The issue is the need to deploy 500-1000 troops in a high density configuration is not...periodic/consistent (thankfully). I would think the vast fleet of 777’s and A340’s sitting about various dry climates unused would be a better fit, but hope the need doesn’t arise.

Imagine an A380 in 20 years breaking down in some remote 3rd world country near a major conflict. It would be pretty costly/difficult to service.
 
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flee
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Thu Dec 03, 2020 3:37 am

The various UN peacekeeping missions require movement of military personnel from time to time. However, they don't seem to need more than A330s or B767/777s for these kinds of missions, even though multiple flights may be required.
 
VMCA787
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:07 am

I am not sure the 380 would even be able to do what the OP is proposing. The 380 has trouble taking loads as it currently is. If one were to make a proposed change of the seating you can't use standard weights. The carry on is much more than it would be on a civilian charter and their body weight is significantly higher. IIRC, on the military charters, I have been on, we used 150kgs which was for their own person and carry on. In some cases, I think that might have even been a little low. In addition, the deploying units will have a great deal of cargo to support their operations. The 380 isn't known for it's agility to carry cargo and something such as a 777, with its massive lower cargo compartments, is almost perfect.
 
UA857
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:49 am

Do foreign militaries have a Civil Reserve Air Fleet like the US or do they use dedicated aircraft for troop and cargo movement?
 
ThePointblank
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Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: A380 for military charters?

Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:26 am

UA857 wrote:
Do foreign militaries have a Civil Reserve Air Fleet like the US or do they use dedicated aircraft for troop and cargo movement?

Depends on the country, but most will use their own fleets of transport aircraft accordingly, and charter aircraft from civilian airlines as needed.
 
Reddevil556
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:55 pm

Almost every military charter I have ever flown on has been a 767. I have flown Omni, Delta, and National. My Delta flights were on a 767-300 and A330-200. Omni was a 767-200 (but I have seen their 767-300s and 777-200s). National was a 757-200 (by far the worst military charter I have been on, but still beats a Herc or a C-17 as far as comfort goes). Probably one of the biggest factors that plays into military charters is not the number of pax it can carry, rather the cargo. On my most recent flight we had plenty of open seats because each one of us was carrying our rifles or light machine guns, pistols, rucksack (about 50lbs each) and two duffel bags (each were probably 30-40 pounds). That is way more weight than the average commercial passenger carries. While an A380 certainly can carry more cargo than a 767, there would still be a lot of empty seats.

Furthermore we need to address the size of the unit traveling. Big difference if we are talking Air Force and Navy personnel versus Army or Marine Corps troops. Army movements can very from small units (less than 100 pax) to brigade sized elements (5,000 +). It does not make tactical sense to pack as many troops as possible in one aircraft due to security mitigation measures. The 767, A330, and the 777 are all best suited for this mission. Despite the Omni 767 being quite old, it was actually a really nice flight.
 
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smithbs
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Re: A380 for military charters?

Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:14 pm

When I was in uniform and traveling, if it was within the states I was often just a regular ticketed passenger (usually with DL), but also I was moving with only a couple people.

Going abroad, it was a dedicated charter - at that time, it was an Omni 762ER. In the end it's a charter operation - get on whatever airplane the company sends.

Also note, deploying troops travel heavy with a lot of baggage. A super-big transport like 747 or A380 might struggle to pack so many bags.

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