Waterbomber2 wrote:anfromme wrote:Waterbomber2 wrote:I think that the mistake that many here and the Airbus board are making, is thinking that things don't change over time.
Follow me in this scenario: imagine that within 10 years, a new energy source or revolutionary powerplant is discovered or invented that would reduce aircraft energy/fuel costs by 80% compared to now.
This means that flying will become a lot cheaper, increasing demand significantly.
The powerplants that will be used in 10 years' time are already being developed. They're not an unknown quantity when it comes to analysing whether or not they'd help the A380.
As for the new energy source: There is of course the chance that we'll discover magic unicorns.
Back in the real world, air traffic (measured in RPKs) has already been doubling every 15 years since the mid-80s, and all forecasts say it's going to keep increasing.
Just for perspective: World air traffic was at ~4 trillion RPK in 2000, when the A380 was launched. It's now at just shy of 9 trillion, with historically low air fares. And still the A380 isn't selling.
You might even say because of this, the A380 is not selling, as most growth was seen in the A320/737 segment, driven by the likes of Indigo, Spicejet, Lion Air, Ryanair, Easyjet, JetBlue, etc.
If anything, prices will be going up from this point onwards. For various reasons. Airlines going bust and bigger players capitalising (see air fares in Germany since AB ceased operations), fuel prices going up, labour becoming more expensive (see the increasing pressure especially Ryanair is getting under at that front), etc.Waterbomber2 wrote:In that scenario, isn't everyone going to want as big an aircraft as possible?
See above: Quite evidently not.Waterbomber2 wrote:Imagine an A380 with the fuel cost of an A320 of today.
Except that the relative fuel cost difference between a magic unicorn-powered A380 and a magic unicorn-powered A320 would remain the same as it is today. As would the up-front capital cost.Waterbomber2 wrote:Not being ready for innovation is a major mistake.
Assuming magic unicorns are going to save your product if you just hold on long enough is a major mistake.
I don't think that anybody knows what comes next.
Sure, RR, GE, PW are working on the next engines with their teams, based on what they have now. What they have now is not that superb. It looks superb to you perhaps, but so did the horses and chariots to the Romans. I worked on jet engines and found notging fascinating about them, it's a very simple machine.
In addition, they are not the only ones doing research in powerplants and energy, far from it.
If there is another breakthrough, the engine manufacturers will have no choice but to dump their own research and accept the new technology or see themselves get left behind. In fact, it's not even sure thay they would be included at all if the technology is very different.
15 years ago evedybody was weilding around Nokia 3310's like that was the thing to have, today you can park your car with your smartphone and Nokia has become irrelevant because it didn't follow the smartphone drift.
The A380 offers a unique platform to try out any kind of new technology. Somebody above said that it would still have 4 jet engines and be inefficient.
Who says that the next breakthrough will be a jet engine or any form of combustion engine at all?
If for exampe tomorrow someone figures out a way to store electricity in a high density way, next week the jet engine era is done. Good luck if you're a jet engine salesman then. That's how fast it can happen.
But an airframe is an airframe and there is only so much you can change even with a new powerplant or form of energy. So any new form of powerplant/energy would most probably be installed in an existing design in a first instance.
Airbus has self-determined that nothing huge will come out anytime soon, Boeing is keeping all its options open, good for them.
If a new technology would allow to fly transatlantic for say 100 bucks return, the demand will be so huge that it can only be met by larger aircraft. Smaller aircraft like the B787 would become irrelevant and unnecessarily take up space in the air and on the ground.
You said that if a new engine came along and allowed the A380 frame to burn fuel at the A320 rate, it would make the plane efficient.
I said that same technology would also apply to the smaller twin airframes that have proven more efficient (under existing, real life engine technology) would still be more efficient.
The four forces that dominate flight: lift, gravity, thrust, and drag, don’t care what type of engine is providing the the thrust. The A380 is too heavy to compete aerodynamically with A350, 777, 787, and A330. If they were all powered by rockets or by canvas sails that would still be the case.