travelhound
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:02 pm

The A380 has some very unique passenger specific attributes that even the new breed of aircraft can't match. In theory, this gives the A380 some very distinct advantages.

If we consider there are currently 200+ A380's in service the average remaining economic life of these aircraft is around the fifteen year mark there is an opportunity for 200+ A380's to be repriotorised.

For ULH fuel efficiency is a driving factor. For medium haul, amenity starts to spike its head in the aircraft economics equation.

If we consider the LCC's are now entering the long haul business there is imperative for the full service carriers to differentiate themselves through product offering.
 
XT6Wagon
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:44 pm

travelhound wrote:
The A380 has some very unique passenger specific attributes that even the new breed of aircraft can't match. In theory, this gives the A380 some very distinct advantages.

If we consider there are currently 200+ A380's in service the average remaining economic life of these aircraft is around the fifteen year mark there is an opportunity for 200+ A380's to be repriotorised.

For ULH fuel efficiency is a driving factor. For medium haul, amenity starts to spike its head in the aircraft economics equation.

If we consider the LCC's are now entering the long haul business there is imperative for the full service carriers to differentiate themselves through product offering.


The only thing the A380 has really offered since introduction was superior capital cost per seat. Which is why EK loves it. Others stayed away even with deals that had its price matching that of a 777-300ER, which should say something.

The 747 before it was an airline killer, and smart airlines learned from this. Big isn't better just because the initial numbers look good. Really hard to park or sell 1/2 a 747 or A380 when times are bad. The 777 atleast offers the ability to be a "combi" with its large cargo capacity.

Nevermind that the A380 doesn't even offer the paper CASM advantage it did 10 years ago. not even against planes 1/2 its size. Terrible structural inefficiency is killing it here. Fuselage and wingbox baselined on a length that doesn't exist, wing crippled by a 80m limit. If only the A388 was the baseline and the planned A389 was a stretch made possible by a decade of refinement and new technology instead of being the designed model with a -800 for a shrink.
 
moa999
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:30 pm

travelhound wrote:
For ULH fuel efficiency is a driving factor. For medium haul, amenity starts to spike its head in the aircraft economics equation.

If we consider the LCC's are now entering the long haul business there is imperative for the full service carriers to differentiate themselves through product offering.


And yet as oft discussed on this forum, on the 787 there is very limited differentiation in Y between the LCCs and the FSCs.

That was the Airbus ethos in early sales material for the A380 with gyms and shopping zones etc.. only showers made it.

Yet now Airbus talks up 11 across
 
beechnut
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:00 pm

stratclub wrote:
Boeing is letting the 747 die gracefully of natural causes while Airbus has put the A380 on life support. Point Boeing.



The 747 was initially designed as a stop-gap large passenger airliner until the supersonic planes took over the meat of the business. We all know how that turned out. However, Boeing designed the 747 so that when the supersonics took over, the 747s would be great freighters. That's the reason for the hump (which also turns out to be aerodynamically beneficent), to provide easy front loading/unloading.

So while Boeing's prediction as to which type of airliner would take over was a bit off the mark (smaller point-to-point conventional rather than supersonic), designing it to be a capable freighter as well will keep the line open for a few years yet, so I wouldn't yet call it "dying gracefully" but rather finding a new purpose in life after "retirement" (as a passenger aircraft).

It really was a very clever move by Boeing even though they were a bit off on their prediction by about 40 years, and by the type of aircraft that would take over from it. the Airbus A380 does not appear to have the same flexibility. Perhaps instead they should have based the A380 on the Beluga design ;)

As for VLA, there seems to be few cogent arguments for 4-engined aircraft. A 777 tweak can probably do just about anything a 747 can do for pax with half the number of engines.

Beech
 
osiris30
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:40 pm

planewasted wrote:
I don't buy the argument that the efficiency per seat is too bad. Why do carriers configure it in such a low density then? They can easily improve efficiency and still offer a superior comfort.
An 11 abreast A380 is more comfortable than a 10 abreast 777 or 9 abreast 787.
I think the A380 is simply too large. Smaller planes earns more money. If air travel increases more, there is place for airliners of the A380 size.


It is the risk factor. Configure a 380 11 wide and you just increase the risk. You are adding operating empty weight that if it isn't carrying a butt is just more fuel burn. The 380 just got blindsided by the massive improvement in tech. Part of that is on Airbus. They should have known where engines were going. I do not believe every engine maker lied to them. They also were leaders in CFRP but didn't use enough. Finally they missed their window with the delayed EIS and production. Boeing nearly did the same with the 787 but got very lucky in the grand scheme (well and the 87 is FAR less risky for an airline to run on a route than the 380, so that mitigates some of the delay)
I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
 
moa999
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:47 am

osiris30 wrote:
Part of that is on Airbus. They should have known where engines were going. I do not believe every engine maker lied to them. They also were leaders in CFRP but didn't use enough.


I think the next A380 needs to be tied to the A350 to substantially reduce engine development cost and vendor risk - same engine, just four of them with possibly slight derate
(They are related in RR land with the Trent 1000 (787) and XWB (350) developed from the 900)
 
trex8
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:05 am

I don't understand why some people think this was all a VLA hub- hub vs smaller frame point- point battle from the beginning when the origins of the A380 go back to designs from 10 years, some would say even longer, before the 7E7/787 program start. In fact if Boeing had its way they would have developed a VLA with the original Airbus GIE companies in the 90s And if the A380 hadn't been launched, you know they would have done the 747-5/6X etc. It was only after the A380 was launched that Boeing wisely realized the market was not big enough for two VLAs and the rest is history. Airbus also saw the A380 as a means of competing with Boeing for those customers who "grew into a VLA" but had no choice except a 747.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:25 am

The 747's recent orders are for freighters, and the 747 has capabilities that no other freighter has, especially nose loading. The 747-8 can go to most airports where a 747-400 can go. As for the A380, with point to point flying becoming more popular, and the B789 economical in a W/Y configuration, at just 254t MTOW for the B789 and B78J (228t for the B788), there are very few city pairs for which an A388 is absolutely needed, especially given that some airlines are using planes as small as the A21N on LON-NYC (albeit STN-EWR for Primera Air).

I see no future for the A388 and no passenger future for the 747, although the 747-8 is still good for large cargo loads (smaller cargo loads can go on the 777F). The sweet spot for long-haul has turned out to be in the 250-350 seat range, for which the B789 and B78J are perfect, and even the A359 can carry 348 passengers comfortably (some airlines have gone 10-abreast on the A359 and Evelop is planning a Y432 configuration - just 8 below the exit-door limit). The B777-8/9X and A35K are the future for airlines with large J needs, but I'm not sure a secondary market will develop for the 777X, maybe the A35K.
 
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Matt6461
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:47 am

par13del wrote:
Matt6461 wrote:
I see a perfect test of your thesis: is the A380 preferred on the world's busiest longhaul route, or do the benefits of frequency remain dominant?
A380 fails that test; there are none on LON-NYC.

Unfortunately Matt, you left yourself open to this caveat.
The BA terminal at JFK cannot handle the A380, in few years time when it is capable the A380 will appear, and since BA and AA are the dominant carriers on the route etc etc etc.


If the A380 were so essential to dense business routes BA would have made this happen at JFK one way or another. Terminal infrastructure is just a matter of economics, just like everything else here.
 
goosebayguy
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:01 pm

I continue to believe BA should be copying EK's strategy for using the 380 on its most important route. LHR-JFK. EK fills 6 380's a day into LHR and would probably like to do more. We know BA is looking to buy more 380's for the right price and we know passengers love the 380. Currently BA cannot do this but if they had more then they could keep their frequency and take passengers from the big American airlines.
 
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Polot
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:29 pm

goosebayguy wrote:
I continue to believe BA should be copying EK's strategy for using the 380 on its most important route. LHR-JFK. EK fills 6 380's a day into LHR and would probably like to do more. We know BA is looking to buy more 380's for the right price and we know passengers love the 380. Currently BA cannot do this but if they had more then they could keep their frequency and take passengers from the big American airlines.

AA is their JV partner, so BA is not going to actively try and “steal” passengers from them, and AA/BA together already dominate JFK-LHR over DL/VS. There is no need for them to destroy their yields (BA’s A380s would mostly just be adding a ton of Y seats to the market) to try and win more market share when they are already by far the market leader.

EK is taking pax from LHR and dispersing then across their entire network (and v/v). That is why they are sending multiple daily A380s. LHR-JFK is primarily O&D focused for BA. They send most of their US connecting pax to suitable AA hubs.
 
Waterbomber
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:00 pm

Polot wrote:
goosebayguy wrote:
I continue to believe BA should be copying EK's strategy for using the 380 on its most important route. LHR-JFK. EK fills 6 380's a day into LHR and would probably like to do more. We know BA is looking to buy more 380's for the right price and we know passengers love the 380. Currently BA cannot do this but if they had more then they could keep their frequency and take passengers from the big American airlines.

AA is their JV partner, so BA is not going to actively try and “steal” passengers from them, and AA/BA together already dominate JFK-LHR over DL/VS. There is no need for them to destroy their yields (BA’s A380s would mostly just be adding a ton of Y seats to the market) to try and win more market share when they are already by far the market leader.

EK is taking pax from LHR and dispersing then across their entire network (and v/v). That is why they are sending multiple daily A380s. LHR-JFK is primarily O&D focused for BA. They send most of their US connecting pax to suitable AA hubs.


DL is big on the route though.
Also, any pax flying JFK- DXB-XXX could just as well fly JFK-LHR-XXX instead, boosting BA's Eastward network.

There is merit to the idea if you look at pax preference for the A380. If pax have the choice between a DL B767/A330 or BA A380, which one do you think that they'll prefer? The choice is not that obvious when compating to BA 747's.
AA and BA can run the JV shuttle service exclusively with BA A380's and dominate the market even more.
 
Planesmart
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:02 pm

Polot wrote:
AA is their JV partner, so BA is not going to actively try and “steal” passengers from them, and AA/BA together already dominate JFK-LHR over DL/VS. There is no need for them to destroy their yields (BA’s A380s would mostly just be adding a ton of Y seats to the market) to try and win more market share when they are already by far the market leader.

Which is precisely why anti-competitive JV's shouldn't be permitted.
 
AJRfromSYR
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:04 pm

Let's not forget that it was Airbus who predicted 1,235 VLA's would be sold between 2000-2019. They need to sell about 700 a380's this year to hit that target.
-AJR-
 
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Slug71
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:42 am

Stitch wrote:
bob75013 wrote:
Boeing's: A Total of 60 A380/747 sized aircraft will be sold over the next 20 years, AND Airbus will not fill all 380 orders currently on the books.


There are a number of outstanding A380 orders that are not expected to ever be fulfilled.


FlightLevel360 wrote:
I think Airbus is correct. As much as I respect Boeing what they said simply does not make sense. Once there is a demand spike in air travel it will make sense.


Air Traffic has been growing between 5 and 8% a year the past two decades, but that growth has been predominately absorbed by frames smaller than VLAs (predominately single-aisle). The A321's success is coming in part at the expense of the A380.


Airports are becoming slot constraint. A lot of airports cant be expanded (like CPT, LHR) because of their surroundings. If air travel is to double (as expected) by the mid 2030s, it's going to be a problem. There will need to be more megahubs.

[quote="frmrCapCadet"]Long term oil prices will be challenged by electrification of ground transportation starting about in 5 years. And after that it will get worse. A lot of that oil in the ground will be stranded assets. Even now Saudi Arabia is struggling to sell off some of its oil assets but doesn't seem to be able to do so. They are rightfully worried (I said worried, not panicked).

Exactly. Ford is looking at cutting most of its sedan and compact cars in favour of more 'trucks' and SUVs. The only reason they would do that, is if there will be low fuel prices.
Formula E, the Hybrid systems in F1, and all the current development of batteries, electric power, hybrid power, and efficiency, is going to be huge over the next decade. Costs will drop a lot over the next 5-10 years too, as more vehicles come to market Theres quite a few new all electric cars hitting the market next year.
Oil might climb for a short while to prepare for the "drought", but they wont stay up. Consumption will take a pretty steep dive.
 
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Stitch
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:48 am

Slug71 wrote:
Airports are becoming slot constraint. A lot of airports cant be expanded (like CPT, LHR) because of their surroundings. If air travel is to double (as expected) by the mid 2030s, it's going to be a problem. There will need to be more megahubs.


Well LHR is getting it's third runway so more slots will be available. And China and India - where all this growth is expected/projected to be happening - are building new airports (Beijing Daxing International Airport, Navi Mumbai International Airport, etc) and expanding existing ones to allow more slots. So operators will have choices in terms of gauge when it comes to operating flights into and out of these facilities and will not be required / forced to only operate the largest gauge frames.


Slug71 wrote:
Ford is looking at cutting most of its sedan and compact cars in favour of more 'trucks' and SUVs. The only reason they would do that, is if there will be low fuel prices.


They're doing it because over 90% of the vehicles they currently sell in North America are trucks and SUVs. They're praying oil stays cheap because if it does not and customers move away from those types of vehicles, they'll be forced out of the NA market.
 
osiris30
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:10 am

Waterbomber wrote:
There is merit to the idea if you look at pax preference for the A380. If pax have the choice between a DL B767/A330 or BA A380, which one do you think that they'll prefer? The choice is not that obvious when compating to BA 747's.
AA and BA can run the JV shuttle service exclusively with BA A380's and dominate the market even more.


PAX preference for the 380 is going to be vastly outweighed by PAX preference for frequency. Airline preference is for profit. The 380 is not the method of enablement for greater frequencies, nor profit for BA/AA over a 787, 777, 350, etc.

It is all wonderful to talk about how much PAX love a certain type of plane, but economic realities always win out. Every PAX **LOVED** Concorde, but that did very little to save it. Economics won out. The economics of the 380 are marginal in today's world. It missed the window. We can sit here and debate endlessly, but the reality is, if BA thought the 380 was the right AC for that route, they would have ensured their terminal was upgraded and they would be using it. I am *quite* sure they studied the 380 for that route, probably many times. The fact it hasn't happened should answer these arguments by itself.
I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
 
osiris30
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:25 am

Slug71 wrote:
Stitch wrote:
bob75013 wrote:
Boeing's: A Total of 60 A380/747 sized aircraft will be sold over the next 20 years, AND Airbus will not fill all 380 orders currently on the books.


There are a number of outstanding A380 orders that are not expected to ever be fulfilled.


FlightLevel360 wrote:
I think Airbus is correct. As much as I respect Boeing what they said simply does not make sense. Once there is a demand spike in air travel it will make sense.


Air Traffic has been growing between 5 and 8% a year the past two decades, but that growth has been predominately absorbed by frames smaller than VLAs (predominately single-aisle). The A321's success is coming in part at the expense of the A380.


Airports are becoming slot constraint. A lot of airports cant be expanded (like CPT, LHR) because of their surroundings. If air travel is to double (as expected) by the mid 2030s, it's going to be a problem. There will need to be more megahubs.



We keep hearing this same old story. This is what the 380 fan club has been saying for 15 years. But instead of that having any relevance, new airports are seeing increased traffic, and at the end of the day, for much of the population, the secondary airports are actually more convenient. As for LHR, LHR *can* be expanded, they just lack the political will to make it happen. There have been proposals for decades to expand LHR. CPT I am not infinitely familiar with, so I won't comment, but to say LHR can't be expanded is horribly inaccurate.

There are other huge problems with this 'slot constrained' argument:
(1) If the airport is slot constrained, odds are it will be terminal constrained if you up-guaged to 380s anyway.
(2) This argument would only have merit if all the flights that could be up-guaged were 777s and big 350s and 747s. The reality is many of the flights are much smaller aircraft. It would be far less risky for airlines to upsize their 737s and 320s to small widebodies to free a slot than turn a 330 or 777 into a 380 flight.
(3) This theory implies that airlines have other uses for those slots or would be so kind as to release them to their competitors. If an airline REALLY felt a free slot (and reduced frequency) would be worth it financially, they would do it tomorrow. I mean it's not like there is a big lead time on 380s. You can get some tomorrow if you asked Airbus nicely enough. I am sure they (and EK) would be willing to juggle production slots for new customers. But again this is not happening.

All in all the whole slot constrained argument has proven itself to be false and will very likely continue to do so (at least for as long as the 380 is even a remotely viable frame). By the time this is an actual issue, the 380 won't even be remotely competitive (it would be akin to using a 727 today... great aircraft, but woefully inefficient compared to the newer siblings). In the timeframe we are talking about here, the 380 would be easily bested by a clean-sheet VLA from another player.
I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
 
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kitplane01
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:08 am

travelhound wrote:

If you have passengers asking you to make available a certain number seats market forces will dictate a price point where the A380's economic remain viable.


I don't think that makes sense.

If a pair of 787s can fly the same route and same seat count at a lower cost, then airlines will chose the 787s over the A380 unless something (slots, backlogs from Boeing) stops them. You should compare the cost of the A380 vs the cost of it's aircraft competitors, not against the price of the tickets.
 
Flyglobal
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:45 am

osiris30 wrote:
Waterbomber wrote:
There is merit to the idea if you look at pax preference for the A380. If pax have the choice between a DL B767/A330 or BA A380, which one do you think that they'll prefer? The choice is not that obvious when compating to BA 747's.
AA and BA can run the JV shuttle service exclusively with BA A380's and dominate the market even more.


PAX preference for the 380 is going to be vastly outweighed by PAX preference for frequency. Airline preference is for profit. The 380 is not the method of enablement for greater frequencies, nor profit for BA/AA over a 787, 777, 350, etc.

It is all wonderful to talk about how much PAX love a certain type of plane, but economic realities always win out. Every PAX **LOVED** Concorde, but that did very little to save it. Economics won out. The economics of the 380 are marginal in today's world. It missed the window. We can sit here and debate endlessly, but the reality is, if BA thought the 380 was the right AC for that route, they would have ensured their terminal was upgraded and they would be using it. I am *quite* sure they studied the 380 for that route, probably many times. The fact it hasn't happened should answer these arguments by itself.

Not necessarily related to the A380, but I do not believe the PAX generic preference for frequency for longhaul flights. Frequency Preference is limited to destinations where the time Zone between destinations allows it- like LHR to US west coast, especially New York Airports. But if you take Europe SFO etc. you are limited to a reasonable slot structure within a probably 4h window rather then you realistically can offer 1 flight /h throughout the day. Same is for Asian airports.

As soon as time zone difference approaches +/- 7hs, especially 8 hs frequency option becomes more limited.

Flyglobal
 
travelhound
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:04 am

kitplane01 wrote:
travelhound wrote:

If you have passengers asking you to make available a certain number seats market forces will dictate a price point where the A380's economic remain viable.


I don't think that makes sense.

If a pair of 787s can fly the same route and same seat count at a lower cost, then airlines will chose the 787s over the A380 unless something (slots, backlogs from Boeing) stops them. You should compare the cost of the A380 vs the cost of it's aircraft competitors, not against the price of the tickets.


What you are saying only becomes true when an aircrafts installed fleet reaches a critical mass where its base economics rather than total cappacity within a market is the dominant factor in determining ticket prices.

I can't see a situation where the 787, A350 or 777X will meet that critical mass in the near future. There are currently 2500 A330, 777 and A380 in service. Those aircraft aren't going to be replaced any time soon.
 
JustSomeDood
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:23 pm

travelhound wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
travelhound wrote:

If you have passengers asking you to make available a certain number seats market forces will dictate a price point where the A380's economic remain viable.


I don't think that makes sense.

If a pair of 787s can fly the same route and same seat count at a lower cost, then airlines will chose the 787s over the A380 unless something (slots, backlogs from Boeing) stops them. You should compare the cost of the A380 vs the cost of it's aircraft competitors, not against the price of the tickets.


What you are saying only becomes true when an aircrafts installed fleet reaches a critical mass where its base economics rather than total cappacity within a market is the dominant factor in determining ticket prices.

I can't see a situation where the 787, A350 or 777X will meet that critical mass in the near future. There are currently 2500 A330, 777 and A380 in service. Those aircraft aren't going to be replaced any time soon.


Even if we assume that no more 787, A350 & 777X get ordered,the total sales of all three planes combined exceeds 2500 now. It all comes down to A & B working down those very large backlogs.
 
estorilm
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:47 pm

mercure1 wrote:
Considering Airbus has been selling the A380 since 2001, some 17 years now, not sure how much longer things can limp along.

You're looking at things entirely the wrong way - the business case for the A380 was always going to become stronger with time, not weaker - that was the nature of the entire dilemma which triggered the program launch in the first place.

You're simply thinking that if it didn't sell when it was new, it certainly won't sell later. I feel like you're overlooking the entire business case for the aircraft, which was airport and route congestion (with a side of CASM / efficiency advantages at launch). Interestingly, NONE of those aspects are currently selling the aircraft - things like a unique range/operational capability and premium pax experience are.

Once congestion becomes an issue and people start require a true "people mover" this program could flourish again.

If you look at projections for air travel and available slots, there's ALWAYS this spot we'll get to where things simply don't work anymore without flying VLA.

I still think airbus missed out on a short-range domestic variant for the Asian markets, still seems like something that would have worked out well.. but that's another area in which congestion could become a massive issue fairly soon.

People still forget that this entire aircraft and program are very "modern" by the standards of commercial aviation. There are plenty of composites, redundancy is achieved with a high degree of electrical actuators, hyd and even waste / water systems are very high pressure. Even the wing is big and ahead of its' time with the loss of the -900.

It seems very obvious to me, but I think this bird's best days are still WELL ahead of her. Very solid and proven modern platform which would appear one of the most easily-upgradable aircraft currently flying. Not that it would be easy , but relatively speaking I think it should be. We really haven't seen a WB airframe of this newer generation heavily optimized before, and it may be far easier for AB than people are thinking. With the rate at which they're punching out MTOW increases, winglet mods, stretches, things like 321 ACTs and cabin flex.. their engineers/CAD programs working well. Of course they're the only player on the field with an option, so (having learned their lesson) I'm sure they will wait till there is CLEAR and obvious demand before launching an upgrade. The 747-8i is the extreme of efficiency that platform can achieve, and by most metrics it was easily eclipsed by the original 380 (when any sort of seating density was taken into consideration). There's no chance Boeing even sketches a new VLA. Airbus will wait, and if it ever happens, they'll have the entire market to themselves for at least 15 yr before anyone can counter.
 
aaexecplat
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:25 pm

Just one comment on the idea of slot constraints. I think it is obvious that for the most part, slot constraints have been and will continue to be relatively short-term issues. What is DEFINITELY a long-term issue is the constraint of available airspace, especially in parts of the world that are prone to weather. THIS is the area where A380 could be of use. I fly weekly into EWR for work (and have been for over 10 years now) and there is no denying that when there is even a HINT of bad weather, the delays spiral completely out of control. A few weeks ago. I had a flight that was delayed by hours because ATC had to limit traffic into the NYC airspace...it never rained a drop at EWR that day or even as far west as Sussex County.

I have to assume that the same could be true for places like Beijing where excessive Smog may limit visibility and constrain airspace? Or maybe Monsoon season in Mumbai?
 
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Polot
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:29 pm

aaexecplat wrote:
Just one comment on the idea of slot constraints. I think it is obvious that for the most part, slot constraints have been and will continue to be relatively short-term issues. What is DEFINITELY a long-term issue is the constraint of available airspace, especially in parts of the world that are prone to weather. THIS is the area where A380 could be of use. I fly weekly into EWR for work (and have been for over 10 years now) and there is no denying that when there is even a HINT of bad weather, the delays spiral completely out of control. A few weeks ago. I had a flight that was delayed by hours because ATC had to limit traffic into the NYC airspace...it never rained a drop at EWR that day or even as far west as Sussex County.

I have to assume that the same could be true for places like Beijing where excessive Smog may limit visibility and constrain airspace? Or maybe Monsoon season in Mumbai?

Again though, A380s won’t really help with that (in fact due to the increased separation required it might make things worse). If you really want to unclog the skies you have to eliminate all the narrow bodies (RJs-> larger narrow bodies-> smaller wide bodies). Changing from 777/A350s to A380s won’t accomplish much.

People have a tendency to assume that upgauging must only occur at the top end of the market for some reason.
 
Strato2
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:56 pm

Polot wrote:
Again though, A380s won’t really help with that (in fact due to the increased separation required it might make things worse).


No, Just no.

https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/REC ... gorisation
 
JustSomeDood
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:01 pm

Strato2 wrote:
Polot wrote:
Again though, A380s won’t really help with that (in fact due to the increased separation required it might make things worse).


No, Just no.

https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/REC ... gorisation


You just proved his point for him, congrats.
 
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Polot
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:13 pm

Strato2 wrote:
Polot wrote:
Again though, A380s won’t really help with that (in fact due to the increased separation required it might make things worse).


No, Just no.

https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/REC ... gorisation

Maybe you should actually read your links? The A380 is the only pax aircraft in the Cat A “super heavy” category requiring increased separation of aircraft behind it relative to aircraft in the Cat B or higher groups.
 
waly777
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:06 pm

Polot wrote:
aaexecplat wrote:
Just one comment on the idea of slot constraints. I think it is obvious that for the most part, slot constraints have been and will continue to be relatively short-term issues. What is DEFINITELY a long-term issue is the constraint of available airspace, especially in parts of the world that are prone to weather. THIS is the area where A380 could be of use. I fly weekly into EWR for work (and have been for over 10 years now) and there is no denying that when there is even a HINT of bad weather, the delays spiral completely out of control. A few weeks ago. I had a flight that was delayed by hours because ATC had to limit traffic into the NYC airspace...it never rained a drop at EWR that day or even as far west as Sussex County.

I have to assume that the same could be true for places like Beijing where excessive Smog may limit visibility and constrain airspace? Or maybe Monsoon season in Mumbai?

Again though, A380s won’t really help with that (in fact due to the increased separation required it might make things worse). If you really want to unclog the skies you have to eliminate all the narrow bodies (RJs-> larger narrow bodies-> smaller wide bodies). Changing from 777/A350s to A380s won’t accomplish much.

People have a tendency to assume that upgauging must only occur at the top end of the market for some reason.


Exactly, A380 is not the answer to congestion and it hasn't been for the last 3 decades. People seem to ignore the upgauges from 737 to 738 or 320 to 321 or 763 to 789 etc.
The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
 
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NameOmitted
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:44 pm

Slug71 wrote:
Exactly. Ford is looking at cutting most of its sedan and compact cars in favour of more 'trucks' and SUVs. The only reason they would do that, is if there will be low fuel prices.


I don't think that follows. I technically have an SUV, but that's only because marketing calls wagons SUVs now. It's more fuel efficient than my late 90's Toyota Corolla it replaced.
 
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NameOmitted
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:47 pm

Slot congestion also sells smaller aircraft. If passengers bypass hubs by going directly to secondary airports, it does more to reduce congestion than large aircraft world.
 
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Matt6461
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:54 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
Slot congestion also sells smaller aircraft. If passengers bypass hubs by going directly to secondary airports, it does more to reduce congestion than large aircraft world.


This effect is minimal if not illusory.
Longhaul substitution of AAA-CCC for AAA-BBB-CCC only decreases aircraft movements if BBB wouldn't serve AAA and CCC but for longhaul connections.
That's unlikely to be true for all but the most transit-heavy hubs.
Everywhere else, longhaul fragmentation would only reduce the gauge of connections from BBB.

Boeing generally makes good arguments against the A380; this isn't one of them.
 
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Polot
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:04 pm

Matt6461 wrote:
NameOmitted wrote:
Slot congestion also sells smaller aircraft. If passengers bypass hubs by going directly to secondary airports, it does more to reduce congestion than large aircraft world.


This effect is minimal if not illusory.
Longhaul substitution of AAA-CCC for AAA-BBB-CCC only decreases aircraft movements if BBB wouldn't serve AAA and CCC but for longhaul connections.
That's unlikely to be true for all but the most transit-heavy hubs.
Everywhere else, longhaul fragmentation would only reduce the gauge of connections from BBB.

Boeing generally makes good arguments against the A380; this isn't one of them.

It won’t necessary reduce “congestion,” but it provides a means to offer more seats in markets without having to resort to A380s or other VLA.
 
aaexecplat
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:04 pm

Polot wrote:
Strato2 wrote:
Polot wrote:
Again though, A380s won’t really help with that (in fact due to the increased separation required it might make things worse).


No, Just no.

https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/REC ... gorisation

Maybe you should actually read your links? The A380 is the only pax aircraft in the Cat A “super heavy” category requiring increased separation of aircraft behind it relative to aircraft in the Cat B or higher groups.


I am not an expert, but using the link provided, let's say the following scenarios play out:

1) A 772 follows another 772 which follows another 772. Total separation required under ICAO standards would be 4+4 miles = 8 miles

2) Assume one A380 frequency could replace 2 772 frequencies. That would now mean one 772 follows one A380. Total separation required would then be 6 miles.

So in this scenario, separation would improve by 33%. Under RECAT, the differential would be greater as the separation would be 6 minutes in the 3x772 frequency case and 4 minutes in the A380 case, which is a 50% reduction in separation requirements.

Only IF the total number of frequencies remain the same is A380 flying a net drag on separation requirements (at least from what I can tell off this doc).
 
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Matt6461
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:15 pm

Because this something of a meta-thread, I'll add a somewhat meta point...

"Both sides will agree" that the A380 has launched more stupid remarks here and in other media than maybe any program in history.

Both sides have said dumb things but only the A380's supporters have been unambiguously slapped down by reality. It is convention here on a.net to pretend this is something about which reasonable minds can disagree but that convention is a baby-coddling fallacy that discredits the forum.

I won't belabor the errors of the A380 fanboys; the anti-A380 crowd's mistakes are far more interesting. These folks crow that big planes and 4-holders can't sell; they claim that's the whole story.

This superficial triumphalism obscures a fact about which they might prefer to crow, were they disposed towards actual deep analysis. That fact is that the A388 is a deeply flawed plane that forfeited advantages which could have made it great, had Airbus proceeded with a decent theory of the case (i.e. capacity for efficiency's sake instead of capacity for capacity's sake, and even at efficiency's sake). Instead Airbus built far too big and only a little too early, resulting in an outcome that vindicated their naysayers for reasons the naysayers didn't assert and don't quite comprehend.

It's a farce producing an endless loop of stupid comments here and elsewhere, much to detriment of the cause of human mobility.

But I'm reassured that more comments in this thread have emphasized the A388's economics - as opposed to merely its size - than was typical of a.net when I joined up. I'd like to claim a little credit for that fact. :)
May the media and the powers-that-be follow course.
 
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Polot
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:16 pm

aaexecplat wrote:
Polot wrote:
Strato2 wrote:

Maybe you should actually read your links? The A380 is the only pax aircraft in the Cat A “super heavy” category requiring increased separation of aircraft behind it relative to aircraft in the Cat B or higher groups.


I am not an expert, but using the link provided, let's say the following scenarios play out:

1) A 772 follows another 772 which follows another 772. Total separation required under ICAO standards would be 4+4 miles = 8 miles

2) Assume one A380 frequency could replace 2 772 frequencies. That would now mean one 772 follows one A380. Total separation required would then be 6 miles.

So in this scenario, separation would improve by 33%. Under RECAT, the differential would be greater as the separation would be 6 minutes in the 3x772 frequency case and 4 minutes in the A380 case, which is a 50% reduction in separation requirements.

Only IF the total number of frequencies remain the same is A380 flying a net drag on separation requirements (at least from what I can tell off this doc).

That is true. Now think about hard it will be to get air carriers to agree to less total frequencies ;) Usually maintaining the status quo is best you can hope for, and in slot locked airports the dominate carriers will used freed up slots to open flights elsewhere to maintain their hold over the airport.
 
musman9853
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:39 pm

Stitch wrote:

They're doing it because over 90% of the vehicles they currently sell in North America are trucks and SUVs. They're praying oil stays cheap because if it does not and customers move away from those types of vehicles, they'll be forced out of the NA market.


Ford is gonna replace their sedans with evs.
Welcome to the City Beautiful.
 
aaexecplat
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:10 pm

Polot wrote:
aaexecplat wrote:
Polot wrote:
Maybe you should actually read your links? The A380 is the only pax aircraft in the Cat A “super heavy” category requiring increased separation of aircraft behind it relative to aircraft in the Cat B or higher groups.


I am not an expert, but using the link provided, let's say the following scenarios play out:

1) A 772 follows another 772 which follows another 772. Total separation required under ICAO standards would be 4+4 miles = 8 miles

2) Assume one A380 frequency could replace 2 772 frequencies. That would now mean one 772 follows one A380. Total separation required would then be 6 miles.

So in this scenario, separation would improve by 33%. Under RECAT, the differential would be greater as the separation would be 6 minutes in the 3x772 frequency case and 4 minutes in the A380 case, which is a 50% reduction in separation requirements.

Only IF the total number of frequencies remain the same is A380 flying a net drag on separation requirements (at least from what I can tell off this doc).

That is true. Now think about hard it will be to get air carriers to agree to less total frequencies ;) Usually maintaining the status quo is best you can hope for, and in slot locked airports the dominate carriers will used freed up slots to open flights elsewhere to maintain their hold over the airport.


I assume it would be impossible to get the airlines to "agree" on any such thing. But if increasing delays trigger passenger ire, over time, airlines could reduce frequency to airports in congested airspace by deploying one VLA rather than double Heavies. May be a pipe dream, but not impossible.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:34 pm

travelhound wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
travelhound wrote:

If you have passengers asking you to make available a certain number seats market forces will dictate a price point where the A380's economic remain viable.


I don't think that makes sense.

If a pair of 787s can fly the same route and same seat count at a lower cost, then airlines will chose the 787s over the A380 unless something (slots, backlogs from Boeing) stops them. You should compare the cost of the A380 vs the cost of it's aircraft competitors, not against the price of the tickets.


What you are saying only becomes true when an aircrafts installed fleet reaches a critical mass where its base economics rather than total cappacity within a market is the dominant factor in determining ticket prices.

I can't see a situation where the 787, A350 or 777X will meet that critical mass in the near future. There are currently 2500 A330, 777 and A380 in service. Those aircraft aren't going to be replaced any time soon.


Airlines compare ticket prices to operational costs to decide if they want to fly the route. Once that decision is made, they chose the lowest cost suitable airframe. What they do NOT do is say "well, these tickets cost a lot so we can afford an A380, but these other tickets cost less so we better buy a pair of 787s."

Right now any airline planning to fly a route (and order new planes to do so) can order the 787 or the A380. And almost everyone has picked the 787.
 
travelhound
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:59 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
travelhound wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:

I don't think that makes sense.

If a pair of 787s can fly the same route and same seat count at a lower cost, then airlines will chose the 787s over the A380 unless something (slots, backlogs from Boeing) stops them. You should compare the cost of the A380 vs the cost of it's aircraft competitors, not against the price of the tickets.


What you are saying only becomes true when an aircrafts installed fleet reaches a critical mass where its base economics rather than total cappacity within a market is the dominant factor in determining ticket prices.

I can't see a situation where the 787, A350 or 777X will meet that critical mass in the near future. There are currently 2500 A330, 777 and A380 in service. Those aircraft aren't going to be replaced any time soon.


Airlines compare ticket prices to operational costs to decide if they want to fly the route. Once that decision is made, they chose the lowest cost suitable airframe. What they do NOT do is say "well, these tickets cost a lot so we can afford an A380, but these other tickets cost less so we better buy a pair of 787s."

Right now any airline planning to fly a route (and order new planes to do so) can order the 787 or the A380. And almost everyone has picked the 787.


That's a fairly narrow argument.

When purchasing an aircraft there are quite a few complex calculations that are made in making the decision.

The main issue for the A380 is the relationship between the size of the aircraft and how many markets can support an aircraft of this size.

For many airlines the flexibility of smaller aircraft like the 787, where they can adjust frequencies to support changes in demand represents the better financial option.

For other airlines where they have a stable (business) market an aircraft like the A380 can be advantages as it gives them a whole lot of lift. Airlines with a strong business base of customers have to ensure they have seats available on short notice.

If we use QANTAS as an example, they are currently transferring their A380 capacity from long haul to medium haul markets. The smaller 787 will allow them to change frequencies, fly to destinations that are more convenient for their customers and better adjust demand on a seasonal basis.

In contrast using the A380 for routes to Singapore and Hong Kong will ensure they have enough capacity to fly their loyal business customers at a time when they want to fly. Currently, many of these customers are choosing to fly other airlines.
 
Antarius
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:02 pm

estorilm wrote:
You're simply thinking that if it didn't sell when it was new, it certainly won't sell later. I feel like you're overlooking the entire business case for the aircraft, which was airport and route congestion (with a side of CASM / efficiency advantages at launch). Interestingly, NONE of those aspects are currently selling the aircraft - things like a unique range/operational capability and premium pax experience are.

Once congestion becomes an issue and people start require a true "people mover" this program could flourish again.


The broader issue, IMO, is you are trying to justify a mistake with time. Few issues
1. If the VLA market is yet to develop, then why did Airbus rush into producing this? If the best days are ahead, then surely an EIS 11 years ago was a waste of resources
2. If the VLA market develops in 10 years, Airbus will be in the same circumstance Boeing is/was in with the 748. By that time, the a380 will be 20+ years old IN SERVICE and a design that is even older. Not exactly a bleeding edge design.
3. The proposed 777-10X is getting into the territory of the a380. What then?

With all due respect, this argument of someday-slot-congestion-will-come is like the guys with thousands of cans of food in their basement for a purpoted post-apocalyptic survival. Not much of a likelihood to waste resources on.
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Planeflyer
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:27 am

Antarius wrote:
estorilm wrote:
You're simply thinking that if it didn't sell when it was new, it certainly won't sell later. I feel like you're overlooking the entire business case for the aircraft, which was airport and route congestion (with a side of CASM / efficiency advantages at launch). Interestingly, NONE of those aspects are currently selling the aircraft - things like a unique range/operational capability and premium pax experience are.

Once congestion becomes an issue and people start require a true "people mover" this program could flourish again.


The broader issue, IMO, is you are trying to justify a mistake with time. Few issues
1. If the VLA market is yet to develop, then why did Airbus rush into producing this? If the best days are ahead, then surely an EIS 11 years ago was a waste of resources
2. If the VLA market develops in 10 years, Airbus will be in the same circumstance Boeing is/was in with the 748. By that time, the a380 will be 20+ years old IN SERVICE and a design that is even older. Not exactly a bleeding edge design.
3. The proposed 777-10X is getting into the territory of the a380. What then?

With all due respect, this argument of someday-slot-congestion-will-come is like the guys with thousands of cans of food in their basement for a purpoted post-apocalyptic survival. Not much of a likelihood to waste resources on.



Well done, ideal post to end this conversation.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:40 am

It is astounding that the original 380 (yes, a few updates) does so well for so many routes for EK, as well as a few other airlines. It goes to show how many errors could be made in marketing and manufacturing, but still it has its niche.
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kitplane01
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:51 am

travelhound wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
travelhound wrote:

What you are saying only becomes true when an aircrafts installed fleet reaches a critical mass where its base economics rather than total cappacity within a market is the dominant factor in determining ticket prices.

I can't see a situation where the 787, A350 or 777X will meet that critical mass in the near future. There are currently 2500 A330, 777 and A380 in service. Those aircraft aren't going to be replaced any time soon.


Airlines compare ticket prices to operational costs to decide if they want to fly the route. Once that decision is made, they chose the lowest cost suitable airframe. What they do NOT do is say "well, these tickets cost a lot so we can afford an A380, but these other tickets cost less so we better buy a pair of 787s."

Right now any airline planning to fly a route (and order new planes to do so) can order the 787 or the A380. And almost everyone has picked the 787.


That's a fairly narrow argument.

When purchasing an aircraft there are quite a few complex calculations that are made in making the decision.

The main issue for the A380 is the relationship between the size of the aircraft and how many markets can support an aircraft of this size.

For many airlines the flexibility of smaller aircraft like the 787, where they can adjust frequencies to support changes in demand represents the better financial option.

For other airlines where they have a stable (business) market an aircraft like the A380 can be advantages as it gives them a whole lot of lift. Airlines with a strong business base of customers have to ensure they have seats available on short notice.


I cannot tell if we're miscommunicating, or disagreeing. Maybe you can very directly tell me which of these sentences you disagree with.

1) Except in slot constrained situations (and often even then) by far the most important consideration for an airline when choosing an aircraft is estimated total costs for purchase plus operating the estimated set of routes.

2) A pair of new 787s is more economical to operate on a CASM basis than a new A380. Four A350s are more economical on a CASM basis than three A380s.

3) Therefore, when an airline has to make a purchase decision, it will almost always not choose the A380.
 
estorilm
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:00 pm

Antarius wrote:
estorilm wrote:
You're simply thinking that if it didn't sell when it was new, it certainly won't sell later. I feel like you're overlooking the entire business case for the aircraft, which was airport and route congestion (with a side of CASM / efficiency advantages at launch). Interestingly, NONE of those aspects are currently selling the aircraft - things like a unique range/operational capability and premium pax experience are.

Once congestion becomes an issue and people start require a true "people mover" this program could flourish again.


The broader issue, IMO, is you are trying to justify a mistake with time. Few issues
1. If the VLA market is yet to develop, then why did Airbus rush into producing this? If the best days are ahead, then surely an EIS 11 years ago was a waste of resources
2. If the VLA market develops in 10 years, Airbus will be in the same circumstance Boeing is/was in with the 748. By that time, the a380 will be 20+ years old IN SERVICE and a design that is even older. Not exactly a bleeding edge design.
3. The proposed 777-10X is getting into the territory of the a380. What then?

With all due respect, this argument of someday-slot-congestion-will-come is like the guys with thousands of cans of food in their basement for a purpoted post-apocalyptic survival. Not much of a likelihood to waste resources on.

I'm not justifying their timing at all - I'm staying on topic regarding a future requirement for the aircraft, you and many others keep ranting about how big of a mistake the entire program was in the first place.

I'll 100% agree with you on that - no one can argue against that, it's a fact. The problem was really market estimates and figures which were grossly incorrect, keep in mind Boeing spent a significant amount of money on the -8i at the same time and essentially sold nothing. I will maintain that the A380 as a platform has at least the POTENTIAL for future development, while the -8i and the entire 747 program does not (beyond being a very good cargo aircraft).

By the time the market develops, the frame will be 20 years in service? Who cares - the 737 fuselage is 60+ years old (older if you go into 707 days) and they're still selling like crazy. The difference is that the A380 was created with a great deal of modern computational aerodynamics and advanced engineering, including materials construction which still lands the overall platform in a fairly light and modern category versus anything else remotely similar, including 777 variants (even future stretches) as the fuselage for that plane was initially designed in the late 80's. The future ideal shape and trade-offs for a double-decker aircraft are very similar to what Airbus would have chosen initially - engine mods and either a smaller/optimized wing and wingtip devices for the -800, or just engines and wing tip devices for a -900 would net a VERY efficient aircraft on certain routes.
 
Chemist
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:44 pm

Jumping in here.
1 - Both the A380 and the 747-8i were mistakes, but the 747 at least has a small niche where it can do certain freight tasks that no other aircraft can
2 - 8i was a derivative and was relatively cheap to do. It may even earn it's costs back over time. A380 won't ever earn it's costs back.
3 - 737 was rewinged and re-engined 3x, even though fuse is old
4 - 380 needs to be full to equal efficiency of other airliners. This incurs great risk for the airlines except on the most dense routes
5 - A -900 would be more efficient, but then the "too big" size problem gets even more significant and risky for the airlines
 
JustSomeDood
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:19 pm

estorilm wrote:
The difference is that the A380 was created with a great deal of modern computational aerodynamics and advanced engineering, including materials construction which still lands the overall platform in a fairly light and modern category versus anything else remotely similar, including 777 variants (even future stretches) as the fuselage for that plane was initially designed in the late 80's. The future ideal shape and trade-offs for a double-decker aircraft are very similar to what Airbus would have chosen initially - engine mods and either a smaller/optimized wing and wingtip devices for the -800, or just engines and wing tip devices for a -900 would net a VERY efficient aircraft on certain routes.


I beg to differ, the A380 wing's design bears far more resemblance to a wing out of a 747 than anything else modern. Aerodynamically, I'd bet good odds it's inferior to an A330 wing simply because of the high-ish sweep angle and very low aspect ratio.

The fuselage crossection also leaves much to be desired, being designed for a stretch in the 80m box while being able to house 600+ in a comfortable two-class config left the fuselage too wide with way too much tapering everywhere. The fact that the upper deck is an 8-abreast twin aisle, meant that the fuselage needed to be heavier to sustain the presurization loads of a non-circular fuselage. A narrower upper deck (single aisle) would alleviate that problem, reduce wasted fuselage due to tapering, and simultaneously be able to take more advantage of the 80m box without excessive capacity risk.
 
estorilm
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Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:08 pm

JustSomeDood wrote:
estorilm wrote:
The difference is that the A380 was created with a great deal of modern computational aerodynamics and advanced engineering, including materials construction which still lands the overall platform in a fairly light and modern category versus anything else remotely similar, including 777 variants (even future stretches) as the fuselage for that plane was initially designed in the late 80's. The future ideal shape and trade-offs for a double-decker aircraft are very similar to what Airbus would have chosen initially - engine mods and either a smaller/optimized wing and wingtip devices for the -800, or just engines and wing tip devices for a -900 would net a VERY efficient aircraft on certain routes.


I beg to differ, the A380 wing's design bears far more resemblance to a wing out of a 747 than anything else modern. Aerodynamically, I'd bet good odds it's inferior to an A330 wing simply because of the high-ish sweep angle and very low aspect ratio.

The fuselage crossection also leaves much to be desired, being designed for a stretch in the 80m box while being able to house 600+ in a comfortable two-class config left the fuselage too wide with way too much tapering everywhere. The fact that the upper deck is an 8-abreast twin aisle, meant that the fuselage needed to be heavier to sustain the presurization loads of a non-circular fuselage. A narrower upper deck (single aisle) would alleviate that problem, reduce wasted fuselage due to tapering, and simultaneously be able to take more advantage of the 80m box without excessive capacity risk.


I'm at work and would have to do a lot of research on this, but there's zero chance it's closer to a 747 wing than anything modern. I mean for one it's composite and full of EBA and EBHA actuators, something you can't really do on older wings. I do recall stats on a high level of efficiency in one of the documentaries (the old one that was like 4+ hour split documentary.)

You bring up many compromises of a split deck, but my point (and something you underlined) was that if they had to do it again, I'm not sure what they would have done differently. Obviously the entire design would have been optimized for the -800 config (wing size, fuse cross-section, etc) but I don't think going single aisle up top would fix anything. Once you achieve the deck height required at the center of the "tube", just tapering the outsides would do more to hurt capacity than increase performance - unless you're suggesting a similar seating capacity by lengthening everything and running with the smaller (tapered) overall cross-section. You wouldn't solve the weight/strengthening issues to pressurize however, and that might even make it worse?

Then again if you are talking single up top, and reducing capacity, that sorta negates the OP's question about the future of a VLA / high capacity aircraft. In that case it might very well approach seating capacity of a future 777-10 or something, and could never possibly hope to compete with four engines.

Bottom line is that if this design has any future (with four engines) it needs the current seating capacity or more. Anything else is a non-starter given the efficiency (and capacity + range) of today's twins. Ironically, I don't think Airbus could have imagined even their own A350-1000 IN SERVICE in 2018.
 
JustSomeDood
Posts: 381
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:05 am

Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:13 pm

estorilm wrote:

I'm at work and would have to do a lot of research on this, but there's zero chance it's closer to a 747 wing than anything modern. I mean for one it's composite and full of EBA and EBHA actuators, something you can't really do on older wings. I do recall stats on a high level of efficiency in one of the documentaries (the old one that was like 4+ hour split documentary.)

I didn't say that the A380`s wing is constructed or engineered like a 747s wing. Just that it's design, from an aerodynamic perspective, ends up more like the 747 than any other modern widebody design. Just look at the A380's top view compared to a 747-400:

Image

Image

Notice how both of them have very "thick" wings compared to their span and don't taper that much towards the wingtip. Now compare to the A330, 787 and A350.

Image

Image

The latter three have much thinner wings, for good reason. Higher aspect ratio wings, in general, generate more lift per unit of drag. Which obviously pays dividends in fuel consumption.

estorilm wrote:

You bring up many compromises of a split deck, but my point (and something you underlined) was that if they had to do it again, I'm not sure what they would have done differently. Obviously the entire design would have been optimized for the -800 config (wing size, fuse cross-section, etc) but I don't think going single aisle up top would fix anything. Once you achieve the deck height required at the center of the "tube", just tapering the outsides would do more to hurt capacity than increase performance - unless you're suggesting a similar seating capacity by lengthening everything and running with the smaller (tapered) overall cross-section. You wouldn't solve the weight/strengthening issues to pressurize however, and that might even make it worse?

Then again if you are talking single up top, and reducing capacity, that sorta negates the OP's question about the future of a VLA / high capacity aircraft. In that case it might very well approach seating capacity of a future 777-10 or something, and could never possibly hope to compete with four engines.

Bottom line is that if this design has any future (with four engines) it needs the current seating capacity or more. Anything else is a non-starter given the efficiency (and capacity + range) of today's twins. Ironically, I don't think Airbus could have imagined even their own A350-1000 IN SERVICE in 2018.


My underlying point about the fuselage crossection is that the capacity target (~1000 pax) was set, and then R&D spent to get it to fit in the 80x80 box, instead of letting the 80x80 box dictate the optimum capacity target.

A lower capacity and payload target would lead to a higher aspect ratio, more aerodynamic wing, a more efficient fuselage (seats/wetted area). As well as lower MTOW for significantly lower trip costs (the big problem with A380 right now). There was a fair amount of discussion here of how a optimum double decker VLA (albeit with better tech twin engine) in the 80x80 box would look like : https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=775819
 
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SomebodyInTLS
Posts: 1728
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:31 pm

Re: A380 - Two VERY Different Views of the Future

Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:05 pm

Chemist wrote:
Jumping in here.
2 - 8i was a derivative and was relatively cheap to do. It may even earn it's costs back over time.


And again with this. It *was* this thread that I just pointed out how untrue that statement is, right?
"As with most things related to aircraft design, it's all about the trade-offs and much more nuanced than A.net likes to make out."

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