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miott
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A380 freighter?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:00 pm

Has airbus ever build an a380 freighter?

This article from Forbes said it has..
“An A380 freighter was designed. One was actually built and flown.”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelgol ... da7704433e

Is it true?
 
fabian9
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:05 pm

No this is incorrect. They started building, but it was never anywhere near finished.
 
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American 767
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:13 pm

None were ever built because Fed Ex and UPS decided not to take them. Airbus decided not to offer it.
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PatrickZ80
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:11 am

It's true that it was designed, however it was never actually built and certainly not flown. The article is incorrect.
 
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Finn350
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:04 pm

From the article:

IN FLIGHT: Picture taken in 2004 in Germany's air space shows the EADS Airbus' A380F freighter.


I wonder how they got it so wrong.
 
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hOMSaR
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:27 pm

Finn350 wrote:
From the article:

IN FLIGHT: Picture taken in 2004 in Germany's air space shows the EADS Airbus' A380F freighter.


I wonder how they got it so wrong.


Those artist’s impressions look so real and life-like. I remember seeing the first artist’s impressions of the 747-500/600 back in the 90s and thinking Boeing actually built them. Of course, I was maybe 12 or 13 at the time and had never visited Boeing’s website before that. Maybe I should have written for Forbes?
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Noshow
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:16 pm

AFAIK they did in fact build major parts for the one or two first freighters but never assembled one. IIRC those parts they were stored.

Whenever Emirates returns their A380s they would make great raw material for some P2F. Three decks for packages. Must be perfect for Amazon and the like.
 
PC12Fan
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:14 pm

Yea, unfortunately the limited amount of customers/units was it's downfall. It would have been an awesome platform for those companies though, but the development costs was nowhere close to justification for the program.

The aviation geek in me coming out - I know the 748F is a good fit for UPS but it does make me wonder if FedEx would ever order a handful for niche routes that could justify it. :scratchchin: I know, I know, the 777F is the go to bird for them, but it still makes me wonder.

Anyways, I admit I am a Boeingnut :mischievous: , but it still would been pretty cool to see an A380F.
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Spacepope
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:20 pm

Won't ever happen. If they can't get a workable conversion program going for the 777, then there is no chance for the A380P2F
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rotating14
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:53 pm

Noshow wrote:
Whenever Emirates returns their A380s they would make great raw material for some P2F. Three decks for packages. Must be perfect for Amazon and the like.



Cargo airlines make money when the planes are flying, not parked. Sure, it could provide a lot of lift but how long will it take to get it unloaded and reloaded? What type of new equipment is needed to unload the containers? How many more employees do you need to unload a fully loaded A380f? How much does that new equipment cost?

Simply put, Amazon and the like won't be in the market for any.
 
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rotating14
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:59 pm

PC12Fan wrote:

The aviation geek in me coming out - I know the 748F is a good fit for UPS but it does make me wonder if FedEx would ever order a handful for niche routes that could justify it. :scratchchin: I know, I know, the 777F is the go to bird for them, but it still makes me wonder.



Besides the ability to lift more freight and fly odd shaped freight via the nose of the 747-8F, the 777F can lift almost just as much and fly almost as far if not further.
 
CFRPwingALbody
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:05 pm

The most we could see is a combo conversion. AKA full or part of main deck for cargo and the upperdeck for passengers. I think the batch with the wiring fix are the most suitable for this. But unfortunatly I judge the likely-hood of a A380 combo conversion program as very low.
 
Noshow
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:11 pm

Combis are dead due to fire protection rules.
 
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PHBVF
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:31 pm

Noshow wrote:
Combis are dead due to fire protection rules.

Aren't the combi rules in place for a split deck (e.g. both cargo and passengers on the same level)?
Thought I read something about that on here and it would open up a niche for the A380 (only passengers on the upper deck)
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Finn350
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:41 pm

If I remember correctly neither of the A380 passenger decks are strong enough to be cargo decks so we can forget P2F for this reason, too.
 
Noshow
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:54 pm

Not for package freighters. During the conversion the floors can be "hardened". Big side doors will be needed as well.

Aren't the combi rules in place for a split deck (e.g. both cargo and passengers on the same level)?

Good point. You are right.
 
747Whale
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:01 pm

Finn350 wrote:
If I remember correctly neither of the A380 passenger decks are strong enough to be cargo decks so we can forget P2F for this reason, too.


Correct. The A380 cannot be converted, and won't see a second life doing freight.
 
acjbbj
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:44 pm

Cargo on the lower deck and passengers on the upper deck will also not be feasible due to fire protection issues. Sad but true.

Combi - great in theory, absolute fail in practice...
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JannEejit
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:51 pm

Wasn't the A380F pulled by Airbus because they wanted to concentrate their efforts on producing the troublesome pax version. The cancellations inevitably followed ?
 
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Revelation
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:53 pm

acjbbj wrote:
Cargo on the lower deck and passengers on the upper deck will also not be feasible due to fire protection issues. Sad but true.

Combi - great in theory, absolute fail in practice...

Yet airliners fly around every day with all sorts of dangerous things just a few feet below the passenger's bums.

The main issue IMHO is it makes no sense to invest the kind of money it would take into designing, certifying, implementing and testing an A380 combi, especially that we now know the A380 ecosystem is winding itself down sooner rather than later.

So, maybe we're saying the same thing?
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Antarius
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:56 pm

Isnt the other issue with the a380 that its MTOW to volume ratio is lower than comparable freighters? Meaning you'd cap out on weight long before hitting the max Space, which means a 767F or 777F etc. Would be far more economical.

Unless someone needs to rush order flowers or pillows, there seems to be minimal value.
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blueflyer
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:08 pm

Antarius wrote:
Isnt the other issue with the a380 that its MTOW to volume ratio is lower than comparable freighters? Meaning you'd cap out on weight long before hitting the max Space, which means a 767F or 777F etc. Would be far more economical.

Integrators (FedEx, DHL, etc.) bulk out well before they reach MTOW. Why the early orders for the freight version came from FedEx and UPS. Also why they can fly 777Fs non-stop halfway around the world, they're not operating anywhere near maximum payload even when full.
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: A380 freighter?

Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:05 pm

acjbbj wrote:
Cargo on the lower deck and passengers on the upper deck will also not be feasible due to fire protection issues. Sad but true.

Combi - great in theory, absolute fail in practice...


Complete rubbish. Only CAO freight and dangerous goods would not be allowed.
Aircraft carry cargo in the lower deck and passengers on upper decks on a daily basis.

I think that the market is the real challenge but it's not impossible to find one.
The A380's upper deck is like an A330 worth of floor area. That's no a lot of passengers.
The main deck has a very large floor area and width, so with a decently large cargo door you could easily fit even long pieces of cargo.

The real challenge with combi's is schedule.
When a few trucks carrying perishables or time-sensitive high yield cargo are stuck somewhere, it's easy to delay a cargo flight, but you can't delay passengers.
This puts constraints on the type and amount of cargo that you can sell.

Still, there are a few markets where it could work, TYO, HKG, DOH and SIN come to mind.
It's not straightforward given the above mentioned constraints, but not impossible.

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