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Matt6461
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:31 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
there simply is no business case to launch the A380neo today.


Sure but our eternal argument is whether the lack of business case is due to solely to "market conditions," due to the plane's suboptimal design, or some combination thereof.

You and others, it seems, always refuse to even consider whether the A380's suboptimal design contributes to its lack of market. Do I have you right there? Is it *only* the market for VLA's and, maybe now widebodies, that, in your view, explains the A380's sales?

Or are you willing to concede that certain design choices (i.e. optimization for -900 size) and certain constraints (80m box) contribute to its lack of sales?
 
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KarelXWB
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:55 pm

r2rho wrote:
Let's add up the numbers:

New forward staircase - 20 seats
Combined crew rest - 3 seats
New rear stairs - 14 seats
These three, applicable to any airline, would add 37 seats alone.

For airlines with herringbone bizclass seats:
Remove sidewall stowage - 10 seats
which brings us to 47 seats. That's without compromising pax comfort.

9 abreast premium economy - 11 seats
With negligible compromise in comfort (9-abreast PY on an A380 is more than good enough), you are now at 58 seats, made up of a combination of J, PY and Y, so not all low-yielding. We haven't even talked about 11-abreast, which IMO would be a mistake that would kill the "A380 effect", and hence why EK rightfully doesn't want it.

That's +58 seats, a good part of it retrofittable during the next cabin upgrade or C-check which is coming up for many aircraft, without a large investment or risk on the part of Airbus, and with no comfort compromise on the side of the airlines.


Thanks for the summary.

Adding almost 60 additional seats without going 11-abreast on the main deck is exactly the reason why I believe the A380 cabin space is under-utilized.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:16 am

KarelXWB wrote:
Thanks for the summary.

Adding almost 60 additional seats without going 11-abreast on the main deck is exactly the reason why I believe the A380 cabin space is under-utilized.


And yet we only hear interest from fringe players like Doric outfitting them for cruise charters and MAS outfitting them for Hajj duties. Strange, no?
 
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KarelXWB
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:21 am

Revelation wrote:
KarelXWB wrote:
Thanks for the summary.

Adding almost 60 additional seats without going 11-abreast on the main deck is exactly the reason why I believe the A380 cabin space is under-utilized.


And yet we only hear interest from fringe players like Doric outfitting them for cruise charters and MAS outfitting them for Hajj duties. Strange, no?


Not strange at all. Most A380 cabins are not yet due for refurbishment.

I think it's fair to assume that if Airbus had offered the smaller staircases from the beginning, at least some carriers would have taken that option. We're not talking about a charter configuration here, just up to 10% more seats without compromising comfort.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:33 am

KarelXWB wrote:
Not strange at all. Most A380 cabins are not yet due for refurbishment.

Neither were most 77W cabins either, yet the extra revenue from going 10x was too valued to be ignored. Same for 787s going 9x.

It could simply turn out to be that A380s already are difficult enough to fill and the extra seats will not pay for the cost of ripping out the staircases.

Basically the A380 is a 777 with an A330 upper deck strapped on to it, which makes for a lot of space to fill. I think the lack of expressed interest in these cabin tweaks is telling.
 
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KarelXWB
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:44 am

Revelation wrote:
Neither were most 77W cabins either, yet the extra revenue from going 10x was too valued to be ignored. Same for 787s going 9x.


Thing is that adding 10-abreast to the 77W is rather easy as you don't have to strip out the entire cabin.

Aside from ANA and JAL, the 787s were 9-abreast from the beginning.

It could simply turn out to be that A380s already are difficult enough to fill and the extra seats will not pay for the cost of ripping out the staircases.


Well that's the point: due to the huge cost, we won't see it happening until the aircraft are due for cabin refurbishment. This would happen when the aircraft goes out of service for heavy maintenance, when the A380s are stripped down to the bare metal.

Hence if Airbus had offered the smaller staircases and other tweaks from the beginning, we could have seen A380s with more seats.

I think the lack of expressed interest in these cabin tweaks is telling.


The modifications have just been offered. It's reasonable to believe that airlines will look at it once the aircraft are due for heavy maintenance.
 
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Matt6461
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:49 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
I think it's fair to assume that if Airbus had offered the smaller staircases from the beginning, at least some carriers would have taken that option.


Most carriers didn't even approach what EK achieved on the MD.
This tells me that most A380 operators didn't foresee much marginal revenue from the last ~20 seats sold on their A380's, and prioritized factors other than seat maximal seat count in their configurations.
A small comfort premium applied to 100% of seats will outweigh adding a small percentage of seats that are, by definition, the cheapest offered.

So I think a few carriers would have taken up the stairs modules had they been offered in 2005 but we'd want a better understanding of their "feel" - better than we can get from the graphics I suppose - to have better hindsight. Perfect hindsight would require knowing BA/LH/AF/etc's deliberative process.
 
Planeflyer
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:57 pm

Is it just me or is this program just full of woulda, coulda, shoulda's.

Announce a cancellation, collect some eol orders and invest in better projects.
 
r2rho
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:19 pm

IMO there are several carriers flying around with a too premium heavy configuration, dating to the days when the A380 was touted as luxury flagship, not as a huge people carrier. AF or MH come to mind, but not only. As the refurbishing of an A380 cabin is no small task, in time or money, we have not seen any happen yet, and those carriers have been stuck with flying around a suboptimal configuration. The potential (or not) of the A380 as a huge people carrier is yet to be seen, as nobody has attempted it until EK's still relatively recent 600+ config.

Cabin refurbishings of the older frames will be coming up in the not too distant future, and it is at those that Airbus is aiming.
One "cabin innovation" that I am missing from Airbus though would be a more standardized catalog-like-offering for the A380. Not down to an A350 level of course, but at least a little step towards more cabin commonality, as currently, each airline's Head of Version is a tailor-made solution. This would help reduce refurbishing costs, and increase the A380's appeal in the 2nd hand market.

Thanks for the summary.
Adding almost 60 additional seats without going 11-abreast on the main deck is exactly the reason why I believe the A380 cabin space is under-utilized.

You're welcome ;) I thought it was noteworthy to point that out, since things get rapidly lost in the 11-abreast discussion. And the main point of these cabin mods, and of this thread, is precisely that 11-abreast is not necessary at all !
 
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ikolkyo
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Airbus says no A380neo, improved engines and new winglets Instead.

Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:14 am

Direct quote from Bregier at the Airbus media day

Will not build @Airbus #A380neo, no biz case, instead denser cabin, more efficient engines and new winglets says COO Brégier #AirbusMediaDay


Source: https://twitter.com/airwayslive/status/ ... 2875701248

I'm interested in what engine improvements they can achieve and what king of winglets they go with, they had to use the fences because of the 80mx80m limit.
 
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KTPAFlyer
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Re: Airbus says no A380neo, improved engines and new winglets Instead.

Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:19 am

Huh, well they might as well call it an A380neo because last time I checked, neo stands for new engine option, and improved engines fits that bill.
 
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KarelXWB
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:28 am

Airbus finally released a slide on how they want to add 80 more seats in the A380. We don't have to glue to pieces together anymore.

As I suspected earlier, one can add 50-60 additional seats without going 11-abreast in economy.

Image
https://twitter.com/KianiKress/status/8 ... 4204069888

Mockup of the new front staircase:

Image
https://twitter.com/SpaethFlies/status/ ... 2750726144

Entire mockup:

Image
https://twitter.com/FG_STrim/status/873127319531118592
 
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KarelXWB
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Re: Airbus says no A380neo, improved engines and new winglets Instead.

Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:01 am

KTPAFlyer wrote:
neo stands for new engine option, and improved engines fits that bill.


An engine PIP fits that bill as well. RR may have committed to further T900 improvements.
 
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keesje
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:06 am

KarelXWB wrote:
Airbus finally released a slide on how they want to add 80 more seats in the A380. We don't have to glue to pieces together anymore.

As I suspected earlier, one can add 50-60 additional seats without going 11-abreast in economy.

Image
https://twitter.com/KianiKress/status/8 ... 4204069888

Mockup of the new front staircase:

Image
https://twitter.com/SpaethFlies/status/ ... 2750726144

Entire mockup:

Image
https://twitter.com/FG_STrim/status/873127319531118592



Thnx! Interesting is IMO 11 abreast is veru doable on a A380. Sitting in a window seat, its visible lots of space is available.
So these Mods + 11 abreast adds 100 seats..

Add improved engines (Trent XWB based) and Sharklets and we have a significant CASM enhancement.

http://www.aerotelegraph.com/airbus-a380-plus-bekommt-winglets

Image

Image
 
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:24 am

KarelXWB wrote:
Airbus finally released a slide on how they want to add 80 more seats in the A380. We don't have to glue to pieces together anymore.

Did we get any indications of which customer(s) are ready to use these optimizations?

What is the +80 relative to? Their "nominal" 525 seat layout? EK's 2-class 610 seat layout?

Do they consider this configuration to be the new "nominal" layout?
 
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par13del
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:44 am

Might sound strange, but what is the primary issue, are there carriers that are asking for more seats on the A380 or accountants who want to show better percentages with their existing pax loads?

In some airlines, additional seats have been gained by reducing pitch, did Airbus design the A380 that the only way to reduce pitch to gain additional rows of seats is by stripping the entire plane down?

As for the heavy maintenance bit, I thought the A380 was designed for maintenance checks, not the old Heavy Checks of the past, if so, how does an airlines get to schedule this heavy check that will allow them to strip the plane bare to install a new seat layout?
Last edited by par13del on Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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KarelXWB
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:45 am

Flightglobal on the matter:

A380 door deactivation could raise seat-count

Airbus is looking at deactivation of an upper deck exit door on the A380 as part of measures to increase the type's accommodation.

...

Airbus estimates that the deactivation could enable it to install eight additional seats.
 
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KarelXWB
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:47 am

par13del wrote:
As for the heavy maintenance bit, I thought the A380 was designed for maintenance checks, not the old Heavy Checks of the past, if so, how does an airlines get to schedule this heavy check that will allow them to strip the plane bare to install a new seat layout?


Yes the A380 comes with maintenance intervals, but it is still due for heavy maintenance every 6 years. The intervals are just stretching the heavy maintenance check.
 
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frigatebird
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:07 pm

keesje wrote:
Thnx! Interesting is IMO 11 abreast is veru doable on a A380. Sitting in a window seat, its visible lots of space is available.
So these Mods + 11 abreast adds 100 seats..

Add improved engines (Trent XWB based) and Sharklets and we have a significant CASM enhancement.

As you can see on the pic Karel posted, 11 abreast Y adds 23 seats. In total 85 seats. It all depends on individual airline configurations of course.

The additional space without 11 abreast Y will be welcomed by most operators. I do wonder if the (interior) changes can be retrofitted on current frames, and at what cost. Should be doable at a regular major maintenance interval I should expect.

Don't count on T-XWB engines on the A380 though. Further PiP's on the T-900 derived from the T-XWB, with a few percentage efficiency improvement can be expected.

This improved A380 will most likely be welcomed by EK, and I can see them ordering these to replace their EA powered A380s later on. Hopefully EK will stay with their policy of not going 11 abreast - they don't want anyone to suffer the middle seat of 5 in a row. And I must say, the aisles look extremely narrow even on the mock-up. The whole 11-abreast experience appears very claustrophobic to me.
 
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Matt6461
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:08 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
Flightglobal on the matter:
A380 door deactivation could raise seat-count


I've been suggesting something like this for a while. Nobody is going to go much north of 650 on an A380, except maybe a Hajj-hauler.
Were this program in better shape, they should eliminate one door on each floor. Boeing saved 1,500lbs on the 779, IIRC, by eliminating the 5th door. Most likely eliminating a UD door could save close to 2,000lbs as the evacuation infrastructure up there is heavier. Combined with an MD door elimination, maybe you save ~3,500lbs and add ~20 seats. Even if capacity is thereby limited to 660 pax I doubt you lose orders.

...of course that would require rework for which there isn't ROI on this frame. Instead we'll get deactivation, which likely won't bring the weight savings benefit.

Revelation wrote:
What is the +80 relative to? Their "nominal" 525 seat layout? EK's 2-class 610 seat layout?


Airbus is very cagey about this. In the pre-11ab days they release an optimization that boosted capacity by 40 seats but only equalized with EK's all-Y MD. So the baseline for these comparisons, in Airbus historical practice, is against past inefficient layouts or against inefficient airline layouts.
 
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frigatebird
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:09 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
par13del wrote:
As for the heavy maintenance bit, I thought the A380 was designed for maintenance checks, not the old Heavy Checks of the past, if so, how does an airlines get to schedule this heavy check that will allow them to strip the plane bare to install a new seat layout?


Yes the A380 comes with maintenance intervals, but it is still due for heavy maintenance every 6 years. The intervals are just stretching the heavy maintenance check.

6 years, this should enable EK to retrofit the new interior in their current RR frames if possible.
 
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KarelXWB
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:19 pm

Revelation wrote:
What is the +80 relative to? Their "nominal" 525 seat layout? EK's 2-class 610 seat layout?


According to the ACAP documents, the nominal 3-class layout features 555 seats (F, J and Y).

See http://www.airbus.com/fileadmin/media_g ... 161201.pdf

The new layout as posted above is a 4-class configuration (F, J, W and Y). Did Airbus ever release a nominal 4-class layout?
 
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:20 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
Flightglobal on the matter:

A380 door deactivation could raise seat-count

Airbus is looking at deactivation of an upper deck exit door on the A380 as part of measures to increase the type's accommodation.

...

Airbus estimates that the deactivation could enable it to install eight additional seats.


It also has a better version of the slide shown earlier:

Image
 
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:22 pm

I'm intrigued to understand how removing the upper deck sidewall stowage frees up space for 6 more seats. Any insights?

V/F
 
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Matt6461
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:28 pm

VirginFlyer wrote:
I'm intrigued to understand how removing the upper deck sidewall stowage frees up space for 6 more seats. Any insights?

V/F


The layout assumes reverse herringbone J seats. Removing the sidewall allows for angling them further outwards, enabling a flat bed at lower pitch. It's a really good idea IMO.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:57 pm

[sarcasm] Adding seats and removing sidewall overhead bins... pax will love it. [/sarcasm]
 
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KarelXWB
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:06 pm

Bloomberg today published an article on the new winglets:

Planemaker is studying 16-foot ‘winglet’ extensions

The so-called winglets, which on the A380 would each measure as much as 5 meters (16-feet), could reduce fuel burn by up to 4 percent by dissipating the vortexes of rapidly spinning air created by the plane’s wings.

Airbus’s commercial aircraft chief Fabrice Bregier said Friday there’s a good chance that the company will opt to upgrade the smaller wingtip fences currently fitted on the A380. The switch, together with improved engine efficiencies, could help win orders while avoiding the greater expense of a Neo upgrade featuring new turbines and changes to the double-decker’s airframe.

...

Adding the extensions would require only minor modifications to the A380’s wings, with no need to strengthen the center box where they join to the plane’s fuselage, Bregier said in an interview at Airbus’s headquarters in Toulouse, France. That was a cost the company sustained when adding winglets to its A320-series single-aisle planes.
 
parapente
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:42 pm

Thx for article link.Yup all sounds about right.They have revealed their plethora of internal mads that get density up to scratch and the BW clear can add good incremental efficiency.A PIP as well would complete the package.It will have to sink or swim with that.
 
SteinarN
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:49 pm

Finally! I have never understood why Airbus have been so slow in implementing large winglets on the A380. This should have been done years ago. But better late than never. It is almost like I can have some faith in this combined effort, slightly better RR engines, around ten percent more passengers without sacrificing comfort and now this winglet might actually help securing some more sales.

I wonder if this winglet will be retrofittable?
 
Theseus
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:09 pm

It will be interesting to see the design they use. I guess we are going to see winglet with a surface comparable to that of the tailplane of an A320...
 
ikramerica
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:22 pm

Bye bye grand staircases and bowling alleys. Hello reality.

The thing is, the A380 shows the problems with a true double decker. This is about as short as they could practically go with 2 levels. Maybe the 6 on top, 9 on bottom would work, but it would be structurally inefficient. But then your choice is to make it "luxurious" with space wasting features, or properly efficient but with 650 seats, really limiting it's market appeal.

The one upside of 650 seats is that it can finally replace 2 for 1 previous 325 seaters. It can now replace two 77Ws on a route, for example at 4-class configuration. Other than the belly cargo difference, it's a straight sub, and for an airline like EK, with so much capacity, the belly cargo is probably not the main driver. CX used to be, not sure as much anymore.

If it goes along with new engines, you might finally see CX in this plane.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:58 pm

SteinarN wrote:
Finally! I have never understood why Airbus have been so slow in implementing large winglets on the A380. This should have been done years ago. But better late than never. It is almost like I can have some faith in this combined effort, slightly better RR engines, around ten percent more passengers without sacrificing comfort and now this winglet might actually help securing some more sales.

When we used to discuss this a decade or so ago here on a.net, winglets were already in vogue (going back to MD-11 around a decade earlier) but the consensus was that A380's wingtip fences were all that was needed because the wing was an all-new design (unlike MD-11 which was a tweak of the DC-10 wing). Now we read:

Didier Evrard, Airbus’s commercial programs chief, said studies into the winglets are progressing and stem from technological advancements as well as the need to make the A380 more efficient. “Ten or 15 years ago we were not able to design winglets with the right balance or drag,” he said, adding that the existing wingtips “are not the most optimal part of the A380.”


SteinarN wrote:
I wonder if this winglet will be retrofittable?

Sounds likely:

Adding the extensions would require only minor modifications to the A380’s wings, with no need to strengthen the center box where they join to the plane’s fuselage, Bregier said in an interview at Airbus’s headquarters in Toulouse, France. That was a cost the company sustained when adding winglets to its A320-series single-aisle planes.


parapente wrote:
Thx for article link.Yup all sounds about right.They have revealed their plethora of internal mads that get density up to scratch and the BW clear can add good incremental efficiency.A PIP as well would complete the package.It will have to sink or swim with that.

I suppose, but keep in mind it took a PIP to get EK to switch to RR and make the last order, and then we read RR had issues delivering that PIP. I have to wonder how much more improvement can be done.
 
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Matt6461
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:30 am

Ikramerica wrote:
The thing is, the A380 shows the problems with a true double decker. This is about as short as they could practically go with 2 levels. Maybe the 6 on top, 9 on bottom would work, but it would be structurally inefficient.


What support do you have for these assertions?
The record supports that the A380's form was dictated by the 650+ seat capacity target. Airbus specifically explored double-deckers as small as 8-6 but found that, at 650 seats, the fuselage would be too long and heavy (and maybe not fit the 80m box).
In other words, Airbus wasn't even trying to go "as short as possible," they were trying to go as big as possible.
That's the fatal flaw of this whole program: the capacity tail wagged the efficiency dog.
It simply wasn't and isn't possible to deliver a -900-sized plane with an 80m wing; Airbus should have responded to this constraint accordingly.

Virtually any double decker of 8-6 or bigger cross section could have been built with about the same efficiency - measured as wetted area per pax - as the A388. This is even easier if you forget about Airbus' desire to have a potential "triple-decker" - the current cargo hold can be fitted to accommodate pax amenities - and go with a shallower belly.

KarelXWB wrote:
The so-called winglets, which on the A380 would each measure as much as 5 meters (16-feet), could reduce fuel burn by up to 4 percent by dissipating the vortexes of rapidly spinning air created by the plane’s wings.


It would be interesting to see drawings. Just from a quick eyeballing, it seems very difficult to achieve the optimal blended winglet (parabolic slope from the wing axis) without revising the outboard ailerons - which would be expensive.
OTOH I would have guessed more than 4% benefit for the A380 from optimal winglets, so maybe they've found a suboptimal winglet absent parabolic blending that still brings significant benefit. Given the A380 drag breakdown's heavy tilt towards induced drag, even a suboptimal winglet should deliver significant savings.

Another good quote from the Bloomberg article:

“We will not launch an A380neo, there’s no business case now to do that, this is absolutely clear,” Bregier said.


[mic drop]
If only Bregier had deigned to weigh in our dozens of A380NEO threads over the last few years. Somehow I suspect even he'd be dismissed a "basher" though.
Let's keep this quote handy for the zombie comments on solving the A380's problems with the long-dead NEO.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:54 am

Strato2 wrote:
rotating14 wrote:
His point was that Boeing bet on more point to point travel with the 787. Airbus thought that the major hubs would be too congested with limited gate space, and with that, the A380 would alleviate this dilemma. But Boeing’s bet, albeit expensive, lengthy and problematic at times, seems to have paid off. One isn't better than the other, one just beat the other to the punch.


But has it? Can you show how many new p2p routes has the 787 opened? I think Boeing was wrong. The 787 is mostly plying exactly the same routes as planes before it.


It's opened hub to spoke routes that were not viable before like AUS-LHR. Previously one would have had to fly AUS-US hub-LHR. There are several cities in the US that could use non-stop flights to European hubs that the 787 makes possible. Just recently MSY-LHR was added. Flights like these can greatly cut the need for A380's flying between hubs.
 
chiki
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:12 am

The problem with most airlines with the A380 is that they cant fill it to operate it efficiently enough. I think Airbus us addressing the wrong issue by increasing capacity. With the current downtrend who will order. I might be wrong but lets wait and see.
 
Airlinerdude
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:22 am

This is my first post on airliners, even though I've been following the forums for probably 10 years now.

I apologize for my naiveness, but would it be possible for RR (or EA for that matter) to consider developing a new engine to replace existing engines on existing airframes? What I mean is produce a more efficient engine and simply attach it to existing airframes by replacing older engines. I understand that there would be several complications such as certification, development costs vs expected returns, and a whole host of other problems that are yet to be anticipated; but from my understanding not much can be done to the existing airframe other than some relatively minor modifications to the exterior and some more efficient utilization of the interior to make any more CASM reductions.

I was thinking that because many airframes have been delivered in the last couple of years, there would be plenty of useful years left on these airframes where the investment might make sense. My dad is an A380 Captain so the topic quite intrigues me.

I suppose the reason I thought of this was because A380 cn 007 (or A6-EDF today) was originally outfitted with RR engines, and later converted to EA engines for EK's purposes.
 
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enzo011
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:29 am

Matt6461 wrote:
Another good quote from the Bloomberg article:

“We will not launch an A380neo, there’s no business case now to do that, this is absolutely clear,” Bregier said.


[mic drop]
If only Bregier had deigned to weigh in our dozens of A380NEO threads over the last few years. Somehow I suspect even he'd be dismissed a "basher" though.
Let's keep this quote handy for the zombie comments on solving the A380's problems with the long-dead NEO.



Are you suggesting that we should not consider changing market conditions when we have discussions on a-net? Surely airlines looking to defer orders from only a few years ago is testament to this?
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:36 am

airbazar wrote:
barney captain wrote:

AUS-LHR immediately comes to mind. What about MAN-PVR? (I saw two 787's in PVR just yesterday) SJC-PEK? SJC-LHR? These are just off of the top of my head.

I think it's safe to say the 787 has opened many new p2p markets.

Those are all HUB-2-p routes. The same exact type of routes that have always existed.


But they bypass closer hubs. Prior to BA's AUS-LHR service, people wanting to fly to Europe from Austin had to get to a hub like DFW, IAH, ORD, or JFK, then catch a flight to LHR, AMS, CDG, or FRA. The flights between the these hubs generated demand for ultra large aircraft. The Bermuda and Bermuda II agreements limited access to LHR. Prior to the open skies agreement between the UK and the US, aircraft and weren't even legally allowed to fly routes from Houston, Dallas, or Atlanta to LHR. Even if the market could justify the flights, only 2 US airlines and 2 UK airlines were allowed to fly between airports in the US and LHR. People wanting to fly from Austin to LHR even had to double connect to get there. This also artificially drove up demand for ultra large aircraft as people were funneled first to large hubs. LHR was the most extreme example, but in general international aviation markets used to be much more tightly regulated. This artificially drove up demand for large aircraft, because flights couldn't just schedule flights between city pairs that made economic and technical sense.

Then add in the effect of ETOPS rules allowing twin engined aircraft fly across the Atlantic. That decreased the size of the planes necessary to fly transatlantic routes. Since there generally is an economy of scale to engines, it meant that planes could be built with just two of the same engines that already existed for the 747 or DC-10 could be installed on smaller planes like the A300 or 767 and make them much more efficient than the 707's and DC-8's they replaced. The 777 was the first twin engined aircraft built to meet ETOPS standards at introduction. The ER versions of the 777 had better range than the 747-400 without having to take as many passengers. The 777-300ER could carry as many passengers as a 747-100 or 200 and fly further than the 747-400 but with more cargo and lower CASM. The 787 allows routes the length of 777 routes with a smaller plane with fewer seats. Without the regulatory restrictions both economic and technical that used to be placed on smaller twins engined planes can and do fly city pairs that were neither viable nor legal a few decades ago. The passengers flying these new routes even if they are point to hub rather than true point to point still are undermining the viability of ultra large aircraft like the 747 and A380 by stealing the passengers that decades ago would have been funneled to large hubs on either side of the Atlantic.
 
2175301
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:06 am

Airlinerdude wrote:
This is my first post on airliners, even though I've been following the forums for probably 10 years now.

I apologize for my naiveness, but would it be possible for RR (or EA for that matter) to consider developing a new engine to replace existing engines on existing airframes? What I mean is produce a more efficient engine and simply attach it to existing airframes by replacing older engines. I understand that there would be several complications such as certification, development costs vs expected returns, and a whole host of other problems that are yet to be anticipated; but from my understanding not much can be done to the existing airframe other than some relatively minor modifications to the exterior and some more efficient utilization of the interior to make any more CASM reductions.

I was thinking that because many airframes have been delivered in the last couple of years, there would be plenty of useful years left on these airframes where the investment might make sense. My dad is an A380 Captain so the topic quite intrigues me.

I suppose the reason I thought of this was because A380 cn 007 (or A6-EDF today) was originally outfitted with RR engines, and later converted to EA engines for EK's purposes.


The singular issue is development costs vs expected returns. Neither RR nor EA was willing to even fund the next generation of A380 engines for a NEO due to such cost. Yes, there is talk of how much performance could be achieved... if buckets of money fell from the sky and did not have to be repaid or if there were not better uses for that money that would be expected to have a better rate of return.

Have a great day,
 
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:23 pm

2175301 wrote:
Airlinerdude wrote:
This is my first post on airliners, even though I've been following the forums for probably 10 years now.

I apologize for my naiveness, but would it be possible for RR (or EA for that matter) to consider developing a new engine to replace existing engines on existing airframes? What I mean is produce a more efficient engine and simply attach it to existing airframes by replacing older engines. I understand that there would be several complications such as certification, development costs vs expected returns, and a whole host of other problems that are yet to be anticipated; but from my understanding not much can be done to the existing airframe other than some relatively minor modifications to the exterior and some more efficient utilization of the interior to make any more CASM reductions.

I was thinking that because many airframes have been delivered in the last couple of years, there would be plenty of useful years left on these airframes where the investment might make sense. My dad is an A380 Captain so the topic quite intrigues me.

I suppose the reason I thought of this was because A380 cn 007 (or A6-EDF today) was originally outfitted with RR engines, and later converted to EA engines for EK's purposes.


The singular issue is development costs vs expected returns. Neither RR nor EA was willing to even fund the next generation of A380 engines for a NEO due to such cost. Yes, there is talk of how much performance could be achieved... if buckets of money fell from the sky and did not have to be repaid or if there were not better uses for that money that would be expected to have a better rate of return.

Have a great day,

Indeed, that is correct. To make it more concrete, the RR powerplant for the A380 is the Trent 900 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolls-Royce_Trent_900 ). This engine is a generation old, and its technology has been surplanted by the Trent 1000 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolls-Royce_Trent_1000 ) generation. Even the base T1000 has now been surplanted by the Trent 1000 TEN and the Trent XWB ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolls-Royce_Trent_XWB ) which are considered to be a generation and a half newer than T900. So, we currently have engine one and a half generations newer that could be used for an A380neo, and the numbers show they would be much better than T900:

Image

Looking at the fuel consumption (TSFC) column, you see the Trent 9xx is at parity (0.0%) with the EA engine, and by the time you get to the current generation Trent XWB you get 7.1% better fuel consumption, and yet, still no new A380neo. What does that show? There simply isn't enough new business to be had by selling better A380s to cover the costs you cite, development and certification costs. There certainly are a lot of second order factors such as RR has got its hands full getting the TXWB engines built in large numbers and indeed a current softening of the market due to massive waves of earlier widebody purchases. but the first order issue dominates: there simply is not enough new revenue to be had selling A380neos to justify the costs. It's biggest customer, EK, has said that even if there is no NEO they'd still buy more A380s so without a wider market demand, Airbus doesn't even need to make A380neos. In the near future, A380s biggest competitor might be used A380s coming off leases, although that also hasn't been a successful business so far: MAS put relatively new frames on the market and found no buyers so they are re-purposing them for use on high density / pilgrimage routes.

In short, the A380s future is cloudy. Airbus is slowing down the production line to 1 per month or less and current orders take the line through ~2021 or so and you can make a case that customers like EK and SQ who like to replace frames on 12 year cycles might be able to keep the line ticking along at that low rate through 2025 when engine tech should be available with more than the 12% number on the chart. RR is already building parts of the Advance engine ( http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/ ... re-testing ) that it is saying will be available in 2025. It is said to be 20% better in fuel burn relative to T700 which means 16% better relative to T900 although all these are moving targets. So we could have the technology to give the A380 16% better fuel burn in the 2025 time frame but that comes with a large development/certification cost, and also the core question of how many very large aircraft will the market be willing to purchase will remain. If they don't buy enough there won't be an A380neo even then. Airbus is saying they hope that the Asian markets grow to the point of justifying A380 purchases, but we've seen the Asian markets grow for decades now and they've been following the same buying pattern as everyone else: they start with narrowbodies and grow into twin engined widebodies and have very few routes that can justify four engined double deckers like the A380. Even more disturbing is that their primary A380 supporter, EK, is starting to show signs of market saturation.
 
Airlinerdude
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:47 pm

Revelation wrote:
In short, the A380s future is cloudy. Airbus is slowing down the production line to 1 per month or less and current orders take the line through ~2021 or so and you can make a case that customers like EK and SQ who like to replace frames on 12 year cycles might be able to keep the line ticking along at that low rate through 2025 when engine tech should be available with more than the 12% number on the chart. RR is already building parts of the Advance engine ( http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/ ... re-testing ) that it is saying will be available in 2025. It is said to be 20% better in fuel burn relative to T700 which means 16% better relative to T900 although all these are moving targets. So we could have the technology to give the A380 16% better fuel burn in the 2025 time frame but that comes with a large development/certification cost, and also the core question of how many very large aircraft will the market be willing to purchase will remain. If they don't buy enough there won't be an A380neo even then. Airbus is saying they hope that the Asian markets grow to the point of justifying A380 purchases, but we've seen the Asian markets grow for decades now and they've been following the same buying pattern as everyone else: they start with narrowbodies and grow into twin engined widebodies and have very few routes that can justify four engined double deckers like the A380. Even more disturbing is that their primary A380 supporter, EK, is starting to show signs of market saturation.


Thanks for the detailed response.

I don't doubt that the prospect of developing a new engine on the business case of new aircraft deliveries is bleak. I was more interested in whether it would even be technically feasible, and if a business case existed for developing a new engine on the basis of keeping existing aircraft flying. By the time 2021 comes around there will probably be 100+ A380s with a useful life of 10 years or more still flying. Whether or not airlines like EK and SQ will want to keep them running for the remainder of their operational life is another question altogether, however the prospect of keeping the existing airframes running with new more efficient engines might make it financially justifiable from an airline's prospective. In my view, this sort of solution would solve many of the issues surrounding finding an A380 replacement in the next decade.
 
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c933103
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:13 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
airbazar wrote:
barney captain wrote:

AUS-LHR immediately comes to mind. What about MAN-PVR? (I saw two 787's in PVR just yesterday) SJC-PEK? SJC-LHR? These are just off of the top of my head.

I think it's safe to say the 787 has opened many new p2p markets.

Those are all HUB-2-p routes. The same exact type of routes that have always existed.


But they bypass closer hubs. Prior to BA's AUS-LHR service, people wanting to fly to Europe from Austin had to get to a hub like DFW, IAH, ORD, or JFK, then catch a flight to LHR, AMS, CDG, or FRA. The flights between the these hubs generated demand for ultra large aircraft. The Bermuda and Bermuda II agreements limited access to LHR. Prior to the open skies agreement between the UK and the US, aircraft and weren't even legally allowed to fly routes from Houston, Dallas, or Atlanta to LHR. Even if the market could justify the flights, only 2 US airlines and 2 UK airlines were allowed to fly between airports in the US and LHR. People wanting to fly from Austin to LHR even had to double connect to get there. This also artificially drove up demand for ultra large aircraft as people were funneled first to large hubs. LHR was the most extreme example, but in general international aviation markets used to be much more tightly regulated. This artificially drove up demand for large aircraft, because flights couldn't just schedule flights between city pairs that made economic and technical sense.

Hub to point routes bypassing closer routes always exists. Of course aviation bilateral, available aircraft on market/in airline fleet, and other factors limited the smallest size of a market that can be linked to a hub of a given distance away, but I would say these are progressive change.
Of course accumulating progressive changes can result in qualitative change, but I don't think Boeing have put much thought about the whole "point to point" traffic idea when they develop the 787. Remember, when Airbus was developing the A3XX, Boeing's idea was to make a sonic cruiser. It was airlines that tell them they don't want this and want a more economic-focused aircraft that pushed Boeing back to the drawing board and created this 787. Which also pushed Airbus to create A350, and after market response A350XWB. So, if anyone is to be given credits for these new widebodies, it is probably airlines that are asking for an economical aircraft. But at the end it is just a natural evolution over the previous generation wide body aircraft, and thus it is expectable that the aircrat would extend the range of a market that is already known to exists, allowing more airports to be served by them directly across long distance.
On the other hand, while Airbus did have failed to see the shrunk of the market available for their plane to take, Boeing also over-estimated the amount of orders their 748 can take despite their pessimistic forescast on the particular market. So at the end, both aircraft manufacturers failed to the market isn't enought for them to profit from and are losing money for that.
Then add in the effect of ETOPS rules allowing twin engined aircraft fly across the Atlantic. That decreased the size of the planes necessary to fly transatlantic routes. Since there generally is an economy of scale to engines, it meant that planes could be built with just two of the same engines that already existed for the 747 or DC-10 could be installed on smaller planes like the A300 or 767 and make them much more efficient than the 707's and DC-8's they replaced. The 777 was the first twin engined aircraft built to meet ETOPS standards at introduction. The ER versions of the 777 had better range than the 747-400 without having to take as many passengers. The 777-300ER could carry as many passengers as a 747-100 or 200 and fly further than the 747-400 but with more cargo and lower CASM. The 787 allows routes the length of 777 routes with a smaller plane with fewer seats. Without the regulatory restrictions both economic and technical that used to be placed on smaller twins engined planes can and do fly city pairs that were neither viable nor legal a few decades ago. The passengers flying these new routes even if they are point to hub rather than true point to point still are undermining the viability of ultra large aircraft like the 747 and A380 by stealing the passengers that decades ago would have been funneled to large hubs on either side of the Atlantic.

- ETOPS flying across trans atlantic was made possible long before Airbus design A380
- The economy of scale of two larger engine compared to four smaller engines cannnot cancel out the economy of scale of size of aircraft yet. At least it is until when the current new generation of widebody being introduced, people start to talk about the A380 losing CASM advantage and that is before they densifing it.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:42 pm

Airlinerdude wrote:
I was more interested in whether it would even be technically feasible, and if a business case existed for developing a new engine on the basis of keeping existing aircraft flying. By the time 2021 comes around there will probably be 100+ A380s with a useful life of 10 years or more still flying. Whether or not airlines like EK and SQ will want to keep them running for the remainder of their operational life is another question altogether, however the prospect of keeping the existing airframes running with new more efficient engines might make it financially justifiable from an airline's prospective. In my view, this sort of solution would solve many of the issues surrounding finding an A380 replacement in the next decade.

That is an interesting question. Surely it is technically possible, the Trent XWB was tested on the A380:
Image

Image
and the chart above shows it's largely compatible, but 800kg /1,700 lbs per engine heavier which is something needing to be dealt with.

It is interesting that programs to re-engine aircraft in service haven't been very popular. The military seems to do it (KC-135s, C-5s, etc) but the private sector not so much (DC-8s a few decades ago). I suppose for such a relatively small fleet there would not be interest in it.
 
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Slug71
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:01 pm

Airlinerdude wrote:
This is my first post on airliners, even though I've been following the forums for probably 10 years now.

I apologize for my naiveness, but would it be possible for RR (or EA for that matter) to consider developing a new engine to replace existing engines on existing airframes? What I mean is produce a more efficient engine and simply attach it to existing airframes by replacing older engines. I understand that there would be several complications such as certification, development costs vs expected returns, and a whole host of other problems that are yet to be anticipated; but from my understanding not much can be done to the existing airframe other than some relatively minor modifications to the exterior and some more efficient utilization of the interior to make any more CASM reductions.

I was thinking that because many airframes have been delivered in the last couple of years, there would be plenty of useful years left on these airframes where the investment might make sense. My dad is an A380 Captain so the topic quite intrigues me.

I suppose the reason I thought of this was because A380 cn 007 (or A6-EDF today) was originally outfitted with RR engines, and later converted to EA engines for EK's purposes.


Pretty sure I've read that the RR Advance could be fitted to the A380.
 
parapente
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:09 pm

I don't get it.It is stated definitively that there is to be no NEO but still we discuss it is if that had never been said? Why?
 
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Matt6461
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:07 am

Revelation wrote:
Image


Something has always struck me about this table:
Look at the comparison between T900/GP7200 and CF6/T700. The newer engines offer 3.6% better SFC for 40% more wetted area and up to 18,000lbs across engines and nacelle (likely more including weight of pylons).
Maybe instead of a NEO, Airbus should have offered a OEO (older engine option)?
This is only half-joking; try balancing 3.6% SFC against the weight and drag deltas:
  • Engine parasitic drag is ~10% of total parasitic drag: OEO would have ~3% lower parasitic drag
  • Parasitic drag is ~45% of A380's cruise drag: OEO would have ~1.4% higher cruise L/D.
  • 18,000 lbs is ~3% of OEW and ~2.5% of (OEW + 500 pax).
  • Plug the foregoing into the Breguet range equation: R= L/D * ln (MTOW/Wlanding) / SFC
  • Result is that the A380-OEO burns .3% more fuel at A388's max range
  • BUT, A380OEO has lower MTOW for equal range, so designers could either keep the greater range or make the plane lighter for lower MTOW
  • Maintenance costs for older, more-common engines like T700/CF6 would be lower than for T900/GP7200
  • Acquisition costs for older engines would probably be lower as well.
  • These cost savings would likely outweigh a ~1-2% fuel burn delta

So, joking aside, an A380-OEO with CF6's or T700's would probably be a better plane than today's A388.

Note also the TXWB has only 4% more wetted area despite certification 95k lb-T and despite being a newer, higher-bypass design.
By the tech standards of its generation, T900/GP7200 are 100k engines by size and wetted area.

This again goes to show how vastly overbuilt the A388 is. Its engines are sized for something even bigger than a -900.
 
nz2
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Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:20 am

barney captain wrote:
Strato2 wrote:
rotating14 wrote:
His point was that Boeing bet on more point to point travel with the 787. Airbus thought that the major hubs would be too congested with limited gate space, and with that, the A380 would alleviate this dilemma. But Boeing’s bet, albeit expensive, lengthy and problematic at times, seems to have paid off. One isn't better than the other, one just beat the other to the punch.


But has it? Can you show how many new p2p routes has the 787 opened? I think Boeing was wrong. The 787 is mostly plying exactly the same routes as planes before it.


AUS-LHR immediately comes to mind. What about MAN-PVR? (I saw two 787's in PVR just yesterday) SJC-PEK? SJC-LHR? These are just off of the top of my head.

I think it's safe to say the 787 has opened many new p2p markets.


Agreed, 787 has opened routes like Auckland to Houston for Air NZ, by-passing the LAX hub....
 
Eyad89
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:47 pm

Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:35 am

As I am typing this post, I am sitting in the A380 EK bar just chilling. This is a GREAT and unique aircraft and i wish it doesn't go away anytime soon. The connecting flight I had before this was also in business class on a 77W. Man, the experience is just not the same. I mean, EK offers a pretty solid product on the 77W (except that it is 7 seats abreast), but it just does not feel like when you sitting on the upper dick of the A380.

Look at QR and how they got hit due to unexpected political events. If the same happens to EK and by a bigger scale, then this aircraft is just dead.

One thing that fascinates me everytime I fly the A380, the way it takes off is just so effortless. If you are not looking at the window, you wouldn't know that the plane has already taken off.
 
mjoelnir
Posts: 9706
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:06 pm

Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:50 am

parapente wrote:
I don't get it.It is stated definitively that there is to be no NEO but still we discuss it is if that had never been said? Why?


Let us see, there was no A330neo, until suddenly there was. There was no 737MAX until there suddenly was. Airframers have often denied doing things until they are suddenly declaring them. On the other hand they also often start talking about some new frame and version and it never comes.

And here on A.net a lot of speculation is going on, much more fun, than talk about boring facts.
 
tommy1808
Posts: 14741
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:24 pm

Re: Airbus is examining 'A380-Plus'

Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:32 am

richardw wrote:
3-3-3 is not really premium economy seating, could be PE minus though.


You are kidding, right? 3-3-3 gives you a seat width EK sells as J on the 77W. Aside of the double-excuse-me seats that is a pretty good PE if pitch and soft product is all right.

Best regards
Thomas

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