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9Patch
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:50 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
As I read between the lines on the interview JL was accepting a lot of blame, it was implicitly, not explicit. He and Airbus repeatedly left issues unresolved and in a British sort of way thought they could muddle through to victory. Engines, weights, size, lack of coordination by the nationalistic and almost independent parts comprising Airbus.

He accepted blame on behalf of the company for decisions he says other people made. Not himself.

And look where it got them*. Damn (Boeing fan speaking).*220,NEOs, 350 - only serious gap 321/now bigger 330

They could have got there without the A380. He's very explicit:

"Spending 25 or 30 billion Euros on the A380 just to get that education seems like a very inefficient way to get that education."
 
Breathe
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sat Nov 28, 2020 7:04 pm

Interesting points from John Leahy regarding the A380. At the end of the day, the guy was the main salesman for Airbus and even "his friends in Seattle" would probably agree, he was probably one Airbus' best in their 50 years of existance.
 
VV
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sat Nov 28, 2020 8:11 pm

Breathe wrote:
Interesting points from John Leahy regarding the A380. At the end of the day, the guy was the main salesman for Airbus and even "his friends in Seattle" would probably agree, he was probably one Airbus' best in their 50 years of existance.


He is an excellent salesman. There is absolutely no doubt about it.

Can you imagine that he succeeded to sell 251 A380? It is a feat.
It is an aircraft that nobody needed and yet he sold 251 of them.

I believe he is able to sell snow to polar bears.
 
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Revelation
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:16 pm

VV wrote:
Breathe wrote:
Interesting points from John Leahy regarding the A380. At the end of the day, the guy was the main salesman for Airbus and even "his friends in Seattle" would probably agree, he was probably one Airbus' best in their 50 years of existance.


He is an excellent salesman. There is absolutely no doubt about it.

Can you imagine that he succeeded to sell 251 A380? It is a feat.
It is an aircraft that nobody needed and yet he sold 251 of them.

I believe he is able to sell snow to polar bears.

Right, and for many customers they are as useful as blocks of ice, perhaps even less so, yet they're still paying the ice man.
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flee
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 2:18 am

Breathe wrote:
Interesting points from John Leahy regarding the A380. At the end of the day, the guy was the main salesman for Airbus and even "his friends in Seattle" would probably agree, he was probably one Airbus' best in their 50 years of existance.

Airbus would not be where they are today if not for JL. They might still be a consortium of small European companies, each with a nationalistic agenda. We are all wise with hindsight, but I suspect that JL genuinely believed that airlines would benefit from having the A380 in their fleet. However, as the A380 entered service, the price of oil surged to over USD 100 and that forced airlines to focus more on its economics. EK then decided to increase pax density on its later deliveries, thereby ditching the cruise liner concept of their earlier aircraft. SQs various configuration changes also showed that they were trying to improve their yields of their fleet. The Covid-19 pandemic was the last nail in the coffin.
 
strfyr51
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 2:51 am

Ziyulu wrote:
Did any US carriers consider the A380?

Both FEDEX and UPS. Except the A380F never happened and when you look t the cockpit? You can see why. though? I coulsd bave has maybe a swing away Tail section for Bulk Loading.
 
strfyr51
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 2:55 am

Breathe wrote:
Interesting points from John Leahy regarding the A380. At the end of the day, the guy was the main salesman for Airbus and even "his friends in Seattle" would probably agree, he was probably one Airbus' best in their 50 years of existance.

Laehy was a master salesman. He had moxie and Brains! I don't know what he did while at United? But hw damn sure hit his stride at Airbus...
 
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Channex757
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:12 am

Those A380s were sold in the "Good Times" so making snarky comments about ice blocks is failing to blame the real reasons why the A380 didn't garner more success.

It was just too damned big; expensive and too much of a strain on airline assets/cash.

Buyers like the Eurolegacies and ME3 saw growth being uninterrupted. The A380 certainly fit their forecasts. It was unexpected economic turbulence that screwed the game up and COVID finished it off.
 
VV
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:18 am

flee wrote:
...
..they were trying to improve their yields of their fleet. The Covid-19 pandemic was the last nail in the coffin.


No. That is NOT correct.

Do you remember that Airbus decided to close A380 production early 2019 or one year BEFORE the covid-19 crisis started?
 
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Taxi645
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 9:58 am

Airbus just took the excellent efficiency of the 8-10(11) fuselage (structurally and geometrically) and squandered it by building it for the 900. What for? What competitor was there to compete against above the 800, knowing that there actually was competition from below? What guarantee was there there market would be ready in time for such capacity? That was a very poor decision. Had they focussed on the 800 size, limit it's payload-range by 10% (drastically reducing it's weight), it would've faired much better against the 777W (and later the 787), there would've been a business case for a re-engine around 2015 (since the starting point would've been much more efficient and competitive in the first place) and they could've stretched it slightly at equal MTOW at the 2nd re-engine project in the mid-twenties.

Instead it got a payload-range capability that wasn't needed for it's hub-to-hub role, it didn't have the cargo capacity to make use of it (made worst by the very large MLG cause by the overcapacity built into the frame), it had a weight that didn't help with induced drag in the limited 80m wingspan.

A ~515T MTOW A380-800 would have been competitive in the market and could have shared engines with the mid-sized twins (although in the end it would have been just as parked during the COVID crisis).
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Revelation
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:22 pm

flee wrote:
Airbus would not be where they are today if not for JL. They might still be a consortium of small European companies, each with a nationalistic agenda.

I think it's a bit of a reach to give such credit to a guy who just admitted he had no influence on the design parameters or strategy for the A380. I think he was a great salesman but not very influential within the company beyond his salesman role. There was, for instance, no point at which we heard that Leahy was being seriously considered for Airbus CEO. In fact in one of his late career interviews he said he had no shot at being CEO and seemed disappointed by that.

Channex757 wrote:
Those A380s were sold in the "Good Times" so making snarky comments about ice blocks is failing to blame the real reasons why the A380 didn't garner more success.

It was just too damned big; expensive and too much of a strain on airline assets/cash.

Buyers like the Eurolegacies and ME3 saw growth being uninterrupted. The A380 certainly fit their forecasts. It was unexpected economic turbulence that screwed the game up and COVID finished it off.

It's kind of a mistake to build a 'good times only' airplane, I would think.
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par13del
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:43 pm

Revelation wrote:
flee wrote:
Airbus would not be where they are today if not for JL. They might still be a consortium of small European companies, each with a nationalistic agenda.

I think it's a bit of a reach to give such credit to a guy who just admitted he had no influence on the design parameters or strategy for the A380. I think he was a great salesman but not very influential within the company beyond his salesman role. There was, for instance, no point at which we heard that Leahy was being seriously considered for Airbus CEO. In fact in one of his late career interviews he said he had no shot at being CEO and seemed disappointed by that.

What did he expect, that the European Airspace project would be turned over to an American?
If he keeps up with his A380 complaints I would expect his American heritage to be raised by A380 supporters.
 
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FrenchPotatoEye
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:52 pm

VV wrote:
flee wrote:
...
..they were trying to improve their yields of their fleet. The Covid-19 pandemic was the last nail in the coffin.


No. That is NOT correct.

Do you remember that Airbus decided to close A380 production early 2019 or one year BEFORE the covid-19 crisis started?


Clear fron launch the 380 sales were never big.

A lots of money spents too.

I wonder the often if Airbus made mistakes to sell so many to the Emirates and in the stead cancel/close the productions before 2019?

Suppose it's not important now with situation today's.
 
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Revelation
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:52 pm

par13del wrote:
Revelation wrote:
flee wrote:
Airbus would not be where they are today if not for JL. They might still be a consortium of small European companies, each with a nationalistic agenda.

I think it's a bit of a reach to give such credit to a guy who just admitted he had no influence on the design parameters or strategy for the A380. I think he was a great salesman but not very influential within the company beyond his salesman role. There was, for instance, no point at which we heard that Leahy was being seriously considered for Airbus CEO. In fact in one of his late career interviews he said he had no shot at being CEO and seemed disappointed by that.

What did he expect, that the European Airspace project would be turned over to an American?

I would hope talent would prevail regardless of nationality.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
enplaned
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:04 pm

Leahy was massively important to Airbus's success - if not for his US origins, he'd likely have had the CEO position at some point, but de-facto a French or German passport is necessary. So he had to make do with a special C-level position. Must have grated a bit.

That said, he, like many others at Airbus, were overly focused on knocking the 747 off its perch, and made the same mistake as others in thinking it was size, not range, that was the key 747 attribute.

Airbus was a bit snake bit when it came to range. The A300/A310 was thoroughly outclassed by the 767, and originally the A330 was built to favor size over range (and therefore didn't sell very well) while the A340 had lousy performance, being somewhat underpowered in its first generation and then, of course, in its second generation it was embarrassingly inefficient relative to the 777-300ER. It's only been with the maturity of the A330 and A330NEO and with the A350 that Airbus has had a truly great long-range aircraft. The A380 was built with range in mind too, is the point.

But it even took Boeing a long time to believe in the virtues of a smaller, longer-range aircraft. The fact of the matter is the virtues of fragmentation were clear to anyone with eyes to see - the 737-300, for instance, became the dominant US domestic aircraft notwithstanding that it was a stopgap solution in the wake of deregulation when it became clear that the 757 and 767 were too big - smaller, higher frequency flights ruled. Boeing built the 757-300 instead of the 757-200ER. The 757-300 sold in pathetic numbers. Range, not size, was the lesson. I wonder whether Boeing might have sold more 767-400s had it been built for range, not size (i.e. as a truly trans-Pacific 767-300LR instead). The pre-Covid success of the A321LR/XLR shows what Boeing left on the table by not pursuing a 757-200ER. For that matter, think of Boeing with the 747-8 - if Boeing had truly believed in the fragmentation potential of the 787, it would never have bothered with the 748. The 748 was Boeing hedging its bets. Turned out fragmentation was real - the 748 is also a failure, along with the A380.

The point is that if Leahy got it wrong on the A380 (and there's no question he did) he was in good company. The OEMs took forever to wrap their head around this.

Ironically, the one great success of the A380 probably served to further boost the popularity of the long-range twins. Once Emirates created that massive, low-cost connecting complex at DXB, about the only good response the European carriers had to offer was a nonstop flight. They weren't going to have lower costs than Emirates, or better service - but if they bought long-range twins they could overfly DXB and offer a better product to those willing to pay.

And in that regard, the A380 lucked out, because Boeing shot off its foot with the insane original industrial organization of the 787, delaying it for years, holding back the day the long-range twin threat to the A380 became effective.

The A380 was built at a dangerous time relative to technology. Leahy mentions engine tech, but there was also metal vs fiber. It was pretty clear that the A380 was going to be the last widebody aircraft designed to be built out of metal - well, not entirely metal, but also that GLARE stuff. It was pretty clear that the next one was going to be carbon fiber, and it was - the 787 (and for Airbus, the A350). And since carbon fiber turned out to work well, the A380 was stuck on the wrong side of another technological divide. Add new engines to the A380, the A380NEO would still be a metal aircraft.

I don't know how much less the A380 would have weighed if it had been designed as a carbon fiber aircraft instead (if that was even possible - think of how big the autoclave would be). Might that have made an A380NEO more likely to survive? I'm skeptical. Fragmentation is just too powerful, a nonstop is so much better than a connection. I think it's a trend that Airbus (and to some extent OEMs in general) were just far too slow to understand.
 
9Patch
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:35 pm

enplaned wrote:
I don't know how much less the A380 would have weighed if it had been designed as a carbon fiber aircraft instead (if that was even possible - think of how big the autoclave would be).

Airbus built the A350 out of carbon fiber panels, so they can build any size fuselage and are not limited by the size of the autoclave.
Boeing builds the 787 in monolithic barrel sections which need huge autoclaves to accommodate them.
 
Antarius
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:49 pm

Channex757 wrote:
It was unexpected economic turbulence that screwed the game up and COVID finished it off.


Mighty revisionist to play this card. The a380 also existed during 2015-2019, a period of unfettered growth in airlines, record profits and low oil prices. People were still retiring them.

If it couldn't make it in that period, it was never ever going to succeed.
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Wildlander
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 6:02 pm

The A380 came about because Airbus believed (or convinced itself) that growth rates were such that another 747-like leap in aircraft seating capacity was going to needed. Anticipating (hoping) for a production life (with incremental imrovements) similar to that of the 747 (think 747-100 to -400 to -8), hence the -900. As mentioned in earlier posts the timing was unfortunate in terms of technology, not just engine efficient as bemoaned by JL but (composite) materials and digital design methods. Also mentioned before was the the sacrifice of the A380F to save the A380, a decision that cost Airbus not only the UPS/FDX A380F orders but also huge numbers of 767Fs sales leaving Airbus nowhere in the new build widebody freighter business.

Step back to the early 200 years. The 777 was well on the way to seeing off the A340. Boeing was likely to do some form of 747 development. Airbus was at risk of being frozen out of the big widebody market. Boeing argueably launched the 787 to kill off the A330 as much as to satisfy market demand.

Airbus could never quite bring itself to believe that passengers would accept the comfort levels epitomised by 10 abreast 777s or 9 abreast 787s. Another reason for the A380 to fall short of sales expectations. The prodigious 777-300ER cargo capability also hurt. Airbus did not foresee Boeing being able to develop the -300ER to reach its ultimate payload-range capabilities nearly as quickly as they did. Another element that was not in the original A380 calcs.

Contrary to what has been posted, range was important to A380 customers (real or prospective). A shorter-range version would have fared even worse.

Unmentioned in the JL interview are the politics behind the "equitable" (convoluted?) A380 industrial set-up and the (already discussed) production snafus. Each of these must have added significant cost and made it harder to strike a price at which airlines would buy and the bean counters were willing to let JL sell at.

Finally, it was a surprise that the A380 customers were so keen to out-premium eachother with F/J rich seat layouts and special features, all of which now render reconfiguration to more mainstream configurations more expensive.

In short, I would suggest the A380 was not an unreasonable bet given the market characteristics at the time it was launched. Poor execution, underestimating the competition and the rapid change in market dynamics was its undoing. Not to belittle the prodigious efforts invested by all concerned in its development
 
smartplane
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 6:17 pm

enplaned wrote:
Leahy was massively important to Airbus's success - if not for his US origins, he'd likely have had the CEO position at some point, but de-facto a French or German passport is necessary. So he had to make do with a special C-level position. Must have grated a bit.

That said, he, like many others at Airbus, were overly focused on knocking the 747 off its perch, and made the same mistake as others in thinking it was size, not range, that was the key 747 attribute.

Airbus was a bit snake bit when it came to range. The A300/A310 was thoroughly outclassed by the 767, and originally the A330 was built to favor size over range (and therefore didn't sell very well) while the A340 had lousy performance, being somewhat underpowered in its first generation and then, of course, in its second generation it was embarrassingly inefficient relative to the 777-300ER. It's only been with the maturity of the A330 and A330NEO and with the A350 that Airbus has had a truly great long-range aircraft. The A380 was built with range in mind too, is the point.

But it even took Boeing a long time to believe in the virtues of a smaller, longer-range aircraft. The fact of the matter is the virtues of fragmentation were clear to anyone with eyes to see - the 737-300, for instance, became the dominant US domestic aircraft notwithstanding that it was a stopgap solution in the wake of deregulation when it became clear that the 757 and 767 were too big - smaller, higher frequency flights ruled. Boeing built the 757-300 instead of the 757-200ER. The 757-300 sold in pathetic numbers. Range, not size, was the lesson. I wonder whether Boeing might have sold more 767-400s had it been built for range, not size (i.e. as a truly trans-Pacific 767-300LR instead). The pre-Covid success of the A321LR/XLR shows what Boeing left on the table by not pursuing a 757-200ER. For that matter, think of Boeing with the 747-8 - if Boeing had truly believed in the fragmentation potential of the 787, it would never have bothered with the 748. The 748 was Boeing hedging its bets. Turned out fragmentation was real - the 748 is also a failure, along with the A380.

The point is that if Leahy got it wrong on the A380 (and there's no question he did) he was in good company. The OEMs took forever to wrap their head around this.

Ironically, the one great success of the A380 probably served to further boost the popularity of the long-range twins. Once Emirates created that massive, low-cost connecting complex at DXB, about the only good response the European carriers had to offer was a nonstop flight. They weren't going to have lower costs than Emirates, or better service - but if they bought long-range twins they could overfly DXB and offer a better product to those willing to pay.

And in that regard, the A380 lucked out, because Boeing shot off its foot with the insane original industrial organization of the 787, delaying it for years, holding back the day the long-range twin threat to the A380 became effective.

The A380 was built at a dangerous time relative to technology. Leahy mentions engine tech, but there was also metal vs fiber. It was pretty clear that the A380 was going to be the last widebody aircraft designed to be built out of metal - well, not entirely metal, but also that GLARE stuff. It was pretty clear that the next one was going to be carbon fiber, and it was - the 787 (and for Airbus, the A350). And since carbon fiber turned out to work well, the A380 was stuck on the wrong side of another technological divide. Add new engines to the A380, the A380NEO would still be a metal aircraft.

I don't know how much less the A380 would have weighed if it had been designed as a carbon fiber aircraft instead (if that was even possible - think of how big the autoclave would be). Might that have made an A380NEO more likely to survive? I'm skeptical. Fragmentation is just too powerful, a nonstop is so much better than a connection. I think it's a trend that Airbus (and to some extent OEMs in general) were just far too slow to understand.

Good summary.

However your comments regarding the A300 being outclassed by the 767 are disingenuous. The A300 entered service 8 years before the 767, so a bit like comparing the A300CEO with the 787. Had sales in the USA especially not been hampered by US OEM anti-competitive behaviour (and offsets and EXIM outside), ably assisted by US unions, more capable versions might have been developed.
 
Vladex
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 6:20 pm

Antarius wrote:
Channex757 wrote:
It was unexpected economic turbulence that screwed the game up and COVID finished it off.


Mighty revisionist to play this card. The a380 also existed during 2015-2019, a period of unfettered growth in airlines, record profits and low oil prices. People were still retiring them.

If it couldn't make it in that period, it was never ever going to succeed.

During that period there was a mad rush for the cheaper and now very capable narrow bodies. Unfortunately most of them got bankrupted but I don't know any company that got bankrupted solely because of A380.
Emirates ordered 50 of them just 2 years ago and before you say it's only one of them , it's by far the number one world airline in the world that matters and the main reason why other monopolistic airlines were litigating against them and throwing FUD all over the place.

Some Euro and American airlines were literally protesting outside their gates before trying to bankrupt them in the courts with the asinine arguments. If Emirates had 200 of single deck airplanes no one wold care nor would it be notable in any way. A380 succeeded just like or above any other first generation of its kind but just like on this forum it's filled with a litany of competing FUD, pure misinformation and a total lack of long term thinking. A380 is still the best design for any future engine development , for any future electric aircraft and any single hub airline.
 
Antarius
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 6:42 pm

Vladex wrote:
A380 succeeded just like or above any other first generation of its kind but just like on this forum it's filled with a litany of competing FUD, pure misinformation and a total lack of long term thinking. A380 is still the best design for any future engine development , for any future electric aircraft and any single hub airline.


I'm so glad you've figured it out and every single successful airline out there has not. Ah yes, Emirates is the "number one airline in the world that matters"... Lol according to who and by what metric? And so glad you can determine the "world that matters" :lol: :roll:

This "the a380 is right but the market is too stupid to recognize it" attitude is no different than the hubris to launch the aircraft in the first place.
Last edited by Antarius on Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Antarius
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:07 pm

Wildlander wrote:
Contrary to what has been posted, range was important to A380 customers (real or prospective). A shorter-range version would have fared even worse.


I don't believe that anyone has argued that range was unimportant. It's just that in the 747's peak time, there wasn't much else that could handle the range, therefore you flew a large 747, whether you needed it or not. By the time the a380 entered service, it's range was not unique. There were twin jets that could match and surpass the a380. So flying an a380 just for the range was no longer required.

That said, if the a380 didn't have range, it would have failed even more spectacularly than it did. It's largest customer uses it on North America - DXB and Au-DXB.
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enplaned
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:50 pm

smartplane wrote:
enplaned wrote:
Airbus was a bit snake bit when it came to range. The A300/A310 was thoroughly outclassed by the 767, and originally the A330 was built to favor size over range (and therefore didn't sell very well) while the A340 had lousy performance, being somewhat underpowered in its first generation and then, of course, in its second generation it was embarrassingly inefficient relative to the 777-300ER. It's only been with the maturity of the A330 and A330NEO and with the A350 that Airbus has had a truly great long-range aircraft. The A380 was built with range in mind too, is the point.

Good summary.

However your comments regarding the A300 being outclassed by the 767 are disingenuous. The A300 entered service 8 years before the 767, so a bit like comparing the A300CEO with the 787. Had sales in the USA especially not been hampered by US OEM anti-competitive behaviour (and offsets and EXIM outside), ably assisted by US unions, more capable versions might have been developed.


The only mention that I make of the A300/310 was that it was outclassed by the 767. You provide some potential reasons why that was true, but don't appear to actually object to the fact of it, so I am not sure why you say that bare statement is "disingenuous". Yep, the 767 was designed later - sometimes there are advantages to being second. The 777 also came later than the A340 (and MD-11), and outclassed those aircraft too. Like I said, Airbus was a bit snake-bit relative to long-range widebodies.

In fact, Airbus did build more capable versions of the A300 - the A300-600 and the A310, which were developed at the same time as the 767. The A300/A310 eventually ended up with the same engines as on the 767 family, in fact, so to a large degree it was a straight up competition on the quality of the airframe and wing. Yes, Airbus had a decade-older design, but the fact of the matter is that these two families competed against each other for a couple of decades.

The A300 was designed for a market niche that in a deregulated environment really didn't exist. It was initially conceived of as a short-medium haul widebody. The A300's first revenue flight was Paris to London, and, even into the 1990s, Air France was still using the aircraft on that route. In the 1980/1990s I recall flying a number of shorter-haul intra-Asia routes on the A300.

If you look in 2019 at all Airbus and Boeing scheduled flights (globally) less than 2500 miles and divide them into narrowbody and widebody buckets by seats, you'll find widebodies account for only about 10% of all such seats (and obviously far fewer than that of flights). And most observers, hearing that stat, would say, "of course". This is now regarded as the natural preserve of the narrowbody. But it was the original A300 target market.

The 767 was also designed for that market niche, by the way. It was conceived as a US domestic aircraft. But the 767 had a lot of latent capability in its wing, far more so than the A300. So when it turned out that the US deregulated market was much less conducive to the 767, the 767 was able to stretch its legs and its fuselage to a far greater degree than the A300, becoming a truly intercontinental aircraft. Heck, the 767 is still in production, which is kind of amazing. It will probably still be flying 20 years from now, 60 years after first flight.

I happened in the 1990s one time to fly a 5000mi+ route where, within a week, in one direction I flew a 767-300ER and the other an A310-300. That route was at the limit of the A310-300's capabilities. Two class capacity on that aircraft was 220, as opposed to 260 for the 767-300ER. What I recall most vividly is that the A310-300's lav tanks backed up by the time we arrived (turning the lavs into no-go zones). The point being that in some fundamental ways it wasn't made for a flight that long.

You may or may not think the reasons for the 767 to have outclassed the A300 are "fair". But again, there's really no arguing with whether it's true and that's all I said.
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:07 pm

9Patch wrote:
enplaned wrote:
I don't know how much less the A380 would have weighed if it had been designed as a carbon fiber aircraft instead (if that was even possible - think of how big the autoclave would be).

Airbus built the A350 out of carbon fiber panels, so they can build any size fuselage and are not limited by the size of the autoclave.
Boeing builds the 787 in monolithic barrel sections which need huge autoclaves to accommodate them.


There are some parts of a composite aircraft that are just as large/important as the fuselage and cannot be broken into panels. One of those is called the "wing". The second article says below that, at the time the article was written, the A350-1000 had the largest single piece composite structure in the industry. OK, so now extrapolate back to the A380...

https://www.mhi.com/news/1111171472.html

https://www.compositesworld.com/article ... ite-wings-
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 9:19 pm

Antarius wrote:
Vladex wrote:
A380 succeeded just like or above any other first generation of its kind but just like on this forum it's filled with a litany of competing FUD, pure misinformation and a total lack of long term thinking. A380 is still the best design for any future engine development , for any future electric aircraft and any single hub airline.


I'm so glad you've figured it out and every single successful airline out there has not. Ah yes, Emirates is the "number one airline in the world that matters"... Lol according to who and by what metric? And so glad you can determine the "world that matters" :lol: :roll:

This "the a380 is right but the market is too stupid to recognize it" attitude is no different than the hubris to launch the aircraft in the first place.


Emirates is the number one international airline by passengers carried and miles flown and even by profits earned or at least was until this year reset and the one many tried to copy or compete or litigate against with big failures and it was mainly because of A380 with a right designed airport but also other factors like a city state of Dubai and a leadership with a far reaching vision willing to take risks and short term losses. If A380 was a market failure then so was any first generation aircraft including the today's darling A321 which sold about 300 copies in the first 15 years or something like 737 MAX could never be nothing but a success because it was so 10 years ago. I think it's hubris thinking that an outdated 737 is a good solution just because it worked before . Taking new project with known risks and early losses is how new discoveries happen so A380 was anything but hubris.
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 9:32 pm

Vladex wrote:
Antarius wrote:
Vladex wrote:
A380 succeeded just like or above any other first generation of its kind but just like on this forum it's filled with a litany of competing FUD, pure misinformation and a total lack of long term thinking. A380 is still the best design for any future engine development , for any future electric aircraft and any single hub airline.


I'm so glad you've figured it out and every single successful airline out there has not. Ah yes, Emirates is the "number one airline in the world that matters"... Lol according to who and by what metric? And so glad you can determine the "world that matters" :lol: :roll:

This "the a380 is right but the market is too stupid to recognize it" attitude is no different than the hubris to launch the aircraft in the first place.


Emirates is the number one international airline by passengers carried and miles flown and even by profits earned or at least was until this year reset and the one many tried to copy or compete or litigate against with big failures and it was mainly because of A380 with a right designed airport but also other factors like a city state of Dubai and a leadership with a far reaching vision willing to take risks and short term losses. If A380 was a market failure then so was any first generation aircraft including the today's darling A321 which sold about 300 copies in the first 15 years or something like 737 MAX could never be nothing but a success because it was so 10 years ago. I think it's hubris thinking that an outdated 737 is a good solution just because it worked before . Taking new project with known risks and early losses is how new discoveries happen so A380 was anything but hubris.


Looking past the dangerous lack of punctuation, your fixation on the 737 and selectively looking at time periods on the a321 is clouding your judgement. The opposite of conservative is not being stupid; Boeing built the 787, which was brand new and still sold 1500+ copies. Airbus has shown that going new with the a350 can be extremely successful and also reinventing a best seller can be as well (a320 neo family). Just because the a380 was new doesn't justify poor sales.

Given your PR piece about Dubai and Emirates, it's pretty clear this is a highly slanted viewpoint. And yes, the a380 worked very well for Emirates. But EK's fleet is a mere 250 aircraft, far far too small to sustain production of a specialized piece of equipment.
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:44 pm

enplaned wrote:
9Patch wrote:
enplaned wrote:
I don't know how much less the A380 would have weighed if it had been designed as a carbon fiber aircraft instead (if that was even possible - think of how big the autoclave would be).

Airbus built the A350 out of carbon fiber panels, so they can build any size fuselage and are not limited by the size of the autoclave.
Boeing builds the 787 in monolithic barrel sections which need huge autoclaves to accommodate them.


There are some parts of a composite aircraft that are just as large/important as the fuselage and cannot be broken into panels. One of those is called the "wing". The second article says below that, at the time the article was written, the A350-1000 had the largest single piece composite structure in the industry. OK, so now extrapolate back to the A380...

https://www.mhi.com/news/1111171472.html

https://www.compositesworld.com/article ... ite-wings-


Are you saying the entire wing has to go into an autoclave?
If the A350 fuselage can be assembled from composite panels, why can't a wing?
Isn't the A380 wing composite along with the A350 and 777X?
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:51 pm

9Patch wrote:
enplaned wrote:
9Patch wrote:
Airbus built the A350 out of carbon fiber panels, so they can build any size fuselage and are not limited by the size of the autoclave.
Boeing builds the 787 in monolithic barrel sections which need huge autoclaves to accommodate them.


There are some parts of a composite aircraft that are just as large/important as the fuselage and cannot be broken into panels. One of those is called the "wing". The second article says below that, at the time the article was written, the A350-1000 had the largest single piece composite structure in the industry. OK, so now extrapolate back to the A380...

https://www.mhi.com/news/1111171472.html

https://www.compositesworld.com/article ... ite-wings-


Are you saying the entire wing has to go into an autoclave?
Why can't a wing be assembled with composite panels?
Isn't the A380 wing composite along with the A350 and 777X?


The center wing box of the A380 is CFRP but the rest of the wing is a mostly aluminum, with composites mostly used for flaps and nacelles. The 787 is the first commercial jet with primarily composite wings (only the leading edge is aluminum iirc).
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:59 pm

Vladex wrote:
A380 succeeded just like or above any other first generation of its kind but just like on this forum it's filled with a litany of competing FUD, pure misinformation and a total lack of long term thinking. A380 is still the best design for any future engine development , for any future electric aircraft and any single hub airline.

Don't blame this forum for lack of future thinking, blame Airbus. According to the 'father of the A380' ( ref: viewtopic.php?t=1445295&start=200#p22472153 and following posts ) A380 needed the -900 stretch to reach its full potential, and once T1000/GEnX engines were out it also needed new engines, yet Airbus chose to not put any more money back into the program till it earned back its initial EUR 15B+ investment, which never happened. Airbus took its shot at the VLA market, and once it saw the market reaction, it said 'no mas'.
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:25 am

Polot wrote:
The center wing box of the A380 is CFRP but the rest of the wing is a mostly aluminum, with composites mostly used for flaps and nacelles. The 787 is the first commercial jet with primarily composite wings (only the leading edge is aluminum iirc).

How about the A350 wings? Did they go into an autoclave in one big piece or were they assembled from panels?
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:55 am

9Patch wrote:
Polot wrote:
The center wing box of the A380 is CFRP but the rest of the wing is a mostly aluminum, with composites mostly used for flaps and nacelles. The 787 is the first commercial jet with primarily composite wings (only the leading edge is aluminum iirc).

How about the A350 wings? Did they go into an autoclave in one big piece or were they assembled from panels?

I’m not sure, but the second article enplaned linked to makes it sound like the skin is cured in one big piece. Likely more efficient from an aerodynamics and structural perspective. Less seams.

Most of the A350’s fuselage panels are quite large too. Not as massive as a whole barrel but we are not talking about small pieces.
 
dstblj52
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:29 am

Revelation wrote:
Vladex wrote:
A380 succeeded just like or above any other first generation of its kind but just like on this forum it's filled with a litany of competing FUD, pure misinformation and a total lack of long term thinking. A380 is still the best design for any future engine development , for any future electric aircraft and any single hub airline.

Don't blame this forum for lack of future thinking, blame Airbus. According to the 'father of the A380' ( ref: viewtopic.php?t=1445295&start=200#p22472153 and following posts ) A380 needed the -900 stretch to reach its full potential, and once T1000/GEnX engines were out it also needed new engines, yet Airbus chose to not put any more money back into the program till it earned back its initial EUR 15B+ investment, which never happened. Airbus took its shot at the VLA market, and once it saw the market reaction, it said 'no mas'.

Not shocking at some point you have to stop throwing good money after bad and it was by that point pretty clear the a380 was never going to make back any amount of money thrown at it
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:09 am

Polot wrote:
9Patch wrote:
Polot wrote:
The center wing box of the A380 is CFRP but the rest of the wing is a mostly aluminum, with composites mostly used for flaps and nacelles. The 787 is the first commercial jet with primarily composite wings (only the leading edge is aluminum iirc).

How about the A350 wings? Did they go into an autoclave in one big piece or were they assembled from panels?

I’m not sure, but the second article enplaned linked to makes it sound like the skin is cured in one big piece. Likely more efficient from an aerodynamics and structural perspective. Less seams.

Most of the A350’s fuselage panels are quite large too. Not as massive as a whole barrel but we are not talking about small pieces.


There are critical parts of wings that are made in long single pieces to maximize strength and minimize weight. Spars, for instance.

This article, for instance, says that one of the single pieces on the Boeing 777X wing will be 100 ft long:

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... es-remain/
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:18 am

Vladex wrote:
Emirates is the number one international airline by passengers carried and miles flown and even by profits earned or at least was until this year reset and the one many tried to copy or compete or litigate against with big failures and it was mainly because of A380 with a right designed airport but also other factors like a city state of Dubai and a leadership with a far reaching vision willing to take risks and short term losses. If A380 was a market failure then so was any first generation aircraft including the today's darling A321 which sold about 300 copies in the first 15 years or something like 737 MAX could never be nothing but a success because it was so 10 years ago. I think it's hubris thinking that an outdated 737 is a good solution just because it worked before . Taking new project with known risks and early losses is how new discoveries happen so A380 was anything but hubris.


A321, a derivative of an existing aircraft, is a really inappropriate model to compare to the A380. The A321 only had to pay off incremental design and engineering work, whereas the all-new A380 had to bear the total cost of design, engineering, etc.

A321 wasn't brilliantly successful initially, but it didn't need to be. It didn't cost Airbus very much additional to offer the A321 given that the A320 was already in production.
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:51 am

The A321 proves that a double stretch can be successful, that a family concept can work and that even the (almost) same wing can be used for much higher weight. Quite relevant to the A380 discussion as this was what was intended for the A380 family to happen. Some double stretch. This is why many parts were oversized and this is why the -800 was not competitive with more modern twins.
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:10 am

Noshow wrote:
The A321 proves that a double stretch can be successful, that a family concept can work and that even the (almost) same wing can be used for much higher weight. Quite relevant to the A380 discussion as this was what was intended for the A380 family to happen. Some double stretch. This is why many parts were oversized and this is why the -800 was not competitive with more modern twins.

The A321 is not a double stretch. The A320 is the base frame, the A321 is a single stretch (and A319 a shrink, A318 a double shrink).

Airbus didn’t launch the base frame of the A380 family first (remember the A320 is still more popular than the A321)...they launched the shrink first.
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:52 am

The A319 is the base and the A318 is the shrink. This is more about the strategy, genes and DNA not about the marketing and final release schedule. Before you start you need to define where you might go to. Some parts and some geometry must take this into consideration from the very beginning.
The A319 is what the A380-800 was supposed to be in the family.
Last edited by Noshow on Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:53 am

The A320 is very much the base in both the genes and DNA, not just marketing and release schedule.

You are right that the A319 is akin to the A380...because they are both shrinks with components designed for larger aircraft.
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:02 am

Just google SA1, SA2 and SA3.

Design Effort

A new program was initiated subsequently, called Joint European Transport (JET). This was set up in June 1977, and was based at the then British Aerospace (formerly Vickers) site in Weybridge, Surrey, UK. Although the members were all of Airbus' partners, they regarded the project as a separate collaboration from Airbus. This project was considered the forerunner of Airbus A320, encompassing the 130-seat to 188-seat market, powered by two CFM56s. It would have a cruise speed of Mach 0.84 (faster than Boeing 737). The program was later transferred to Airbus, leading up to the creation of the Single-Aisle (SA) studies in 1980, led by former leader of JET program, Derek Brown. The group looked at three different variants, covering the 125-seat to 180-seat market, called SA1, SA2 and SA3. Although unaware at the time, the consortium was producing the blueprints for the A319, A320 and A321, respectively. The single-aisle program created divisions within Airbus about whether to design a shorter-range twinjet than a longer-range quadjet wanted by the West Germans, particularly Lufthansa. However, works proceeded, and the German carrier would eventually order the twinjet.

In February 1981, the project was re-designated A320, with efforts focused on the former SA2.


https://www.skytamer.com/Airbus_A319.html
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:06 am

The A380-800 ended up being the base model. The A380F was intended as a stepping stone/catalyst for the A380-900 in terms of higher design weights and associated structural reinforcements. The -900 would have taken the length overall to the limit of the 80m box. A double stretch would have required industry wide acceptance of a bigger box. Bigger winglets or a NIH folding wingtip would have kept the wingspan at 80m, no such alchemy possible with the fuselage.

Discussion of a -700 was kicked into touch during the pre-launch development phase. Don't forget that there were all manner of shapes and sizes explored before the definitive A380 shape/size was adopted.

Stopping the A380F had major consequences!
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:10 am

enplaned wrote:
smartplane wrote:
enplaned wrote:
Airbus was a bit snake bit when it came to range. The A300/A310 was thoroughly outclassed by the 767, and originally the A330 was built to favor size over range (and therefore didn't sell very well) while the A340 had lousy performance, being somewhat underpowered in its first generation and then, of course, in its second generation it was embarrassingly inefficient relative to the 777-300ER. It's only been with the maturity of the A330 and A330NEO and with the A350 that Airbus has had a truly great long-range aircraft. The A380 was built with range in mind too, is the point.

Good summary.

However your comments regarding the A300 being outclassed by the 767 are disingenuous. The A300 entered service 8 years before the 767, so a bit like comparing the A300CEO with the 787. Had sales in the USA especially not been hampered by US OEM anti-competitive behaviour (and offsets and EXIM outside), ably assisted by US unions, more capable versions might have been developed.


The only mention that I make of the A300/310 was that it was outclassed by the 767. You provide some potential reasons why that was true, but don't appear to actually object to the fact of it, so I am not sure why you say that bare statement is "disingenuous". Yep, the 767 was designed later - sometimes there are advantages to being second. The 777 also came later than the A340 (and MD-11), and outclassed those aircraft too. Like I said, Airbus was a bit snake-bit relative to long-range widebodies.

In fact, Airbus did build more capable versions of the A300 - the A300-600 and the A310, which were developed at the same time as the 767. The A300/A310 eventually ended up with the same engines as on the 767 family, in fact, so to a large degree it was a straight up competition on the quality of the airframe and wing. Yes, Airbus had a decade-older design, but the fact of the matter is that these two families competed against each other for a couple of decades.

The A300 was designed for a market niche that in a deregulated environment really didn't exist. It was initially conceived of as a short-medium haul widebody. The A300's first revenue flight was Paris to London, and, even into the 1990s, Air France was still using the aircraft on that route. In the 1980/1990s I recall flying a number of shorter-haul intra-Asia routes on the A300.

If you look in 2019 at all Airbus and Boeing scheduled flights (globally) less than 2500 miles and divide them into narrowbody and widebody buckets by seats, you'll find widebodies account for only about 10% of all such seats (and obviously far fewer than that of flights). And most observers, hearing that stat, would say, "of course". This is now regarded as the natural preserve of the narrowbody. But it was the original A300 target market.

The 767 was also designed for that market niche, by the way. It was conceived as a US domestic aircraft. But the 767 had a lot of latent capability in its wing, far more so than the A300. So when it turned out that the US deregulated market was much less conducive to the 767, the 767 was able to stretch its legs and its fuselage to a far greater degree than the A300, becoming a truly intercontinental aircraft. Heck, the 767 is still in production, which is kind of amazing. It will probably still be flying 20 years from now, 60 years after first flight.

I happened in the 1990s one time to fly a 5000mi+ route where, within a week, in one direction I flew a 767-300ER and the other an A310-300. That route was at the limit of the A310-300's capabilities. Two class capacity on that aircraft was 220, as opposed to 260 for the 767-300ER. What I recall most vividly is that the A310-300's lav tanks backed up by the time we arrived (turning the lavs into no-go zones). The point being that in some fundamental ways it wasn't made for a flight that long.

You may or may not think the reasons for the 767 to have outclassed the A300 are "fair". But again, there's really no arguing with whether it's true and that's all I said.


Thanks for an excellent post.

Just a couple of "littlies":

- I last flew on an A306 in Asia in 2005. I think the type was still doing a great job on short-haul duties for years after that.
The small wing seemed to be "just right" (to coin "Goldilocks").
- in conversation a well-regarded Airline CEO of the time characterised the 763ER as being " a 10-hour wing carrying a 6-hour body".
(I suspect that he might have had the toilet capacity in mind also).

But a last fond send-off for the 767 mainline family - truly a great cabin for the pax.

2-3-2 with two full-sized aisles!

No wonder the bean-counters wanted it gone yesterday!
:devil:



cheers
Billy
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:18 am

Antarius wrote:
Vladex wrote:
Antarius wrote:

I'm so glad you've figured it out and every single successful airline out there has not. Ah yes, Emirates is the "number one airline in the world that matters"... Lol according to who and by what metric? And so glad you can determine the "world that matters" :lol: :roll:

This "the a380 is right but the market is too stupid to recognize it" attitude is no different than the hubris to launch the aircraft in the first place.


Emirates is the number one international airline by passengers carried and miles flown and even by profits earned or at least was until this year reset and the one many tried to copy or compete or litigate against with big failures and it was mainly because of A380 with a right designed airport but also other factors like a city state of Dubai and a leadership with a far reaching vision willing to take risks and short term losses. If A380 was a market failure then so was any first generation aircraft including the today's darling A321 which sold about 300 copies in the first 15 years or something like 737 MAX could never be nothing but a success because it was so 10 years ago. I think it's hubris thinking that an outdated 737 is a good solution just because it worked before . Taking new project with known risks and early losses is how new discoveries happen so A380 was anything but hubris.


Looking past the dangerous lack of punctuation, your fixation on the 737 and selectively looking at time periods on the a321 is clouding your judgement. The opposite of conservative is not being stupid; Boeing built the 787, which was brand new and still sold 1500+ copies. Airbus has shown that going new with the a350 can be extremely successful and also reinventing a best seller can be as well (a320 neo family). Just because the a380 was new doesn't justify poor sales.

Given your PR piece about Dubai and Emirates, it's pretty clear this is a highly slanted viewpoint. And yes, the a380 worked very well for Emirates. But EK's fleet is a mere 250 aircraft, far far too small to sustain production of a specialized piece of equipment.


I suspect that English may not be the first language for "Vladex".

So maybe a bit tough under the circumstances.

That said,

:rotfl:

cheers
Billy
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:41 am

Noshow wrote:
Just google SA1, SA2 and SA3.

Design Effort

A new program was initiated subsequently, called Joint European Transport (JET). This was set up in June 1977, and was based at the then British Aerospace (formerly Vickers) site in Weybridge, Surrey, UK. Although the members were all of Airbus' partners, they regarded the project as a separate collaboration from Airbus. This project was considered the forerunner of Airbus A320, encompassing the 130-seat to 188-seat market, powered by two CFM56s. It would have a cruise speed of Mach 0.84 (faster than Boeing 737). The program was later transferred to Airbus, leading up to the creation of the Single-Aisle (SA) studies in 1980, led by former leader of JET program, Derek Brown. The group looked at three different variants, covering the 125-seat to 180-seat market, called SA1, SA2 and SA3. Although unaware at the time, the consortium was producing the blueprints for the A319, A320 and A321, respectively. The single-aisle program created divisions within Airbus about whether to design a shorter-range twinjet than a longer-range quadjet wanted by the West Germans, particularly Lufthansa. However, works proceeded, and the German carrier would eventually order the twinjet.

In February 1981, the project was re-designated A320, with efforts focused on the former SA2.


https://www.skytamer.com/Airbus_A319.html

That doesn’t mean SA1/A319 was the base model and not a shrink.

By your logic the never built A350-800, launched at the same time as the -900 and -1000, is the base model of the A350 family. Nevermind the fact that by the end of its life is was just a straight A359 shrink.
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:48 am

My main point concerning this topic here was that the A380-800 was meant to be stretched up to two times.
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:47 pm

Noshow wrote:
My main point concerning this topic here was that the A380-800 was meant to be stretched up to two times.


:oops:

Astounding.

Any clues as to where & when this total departure from reality took place?

cheers
Billy
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:58 pm

Noshow wrote:
My main point concerning this topic here was that the A380-800 was meant to be stretched up to two times.


I'm sure Airbus finance people are were happy this didnt happen.

The costs would the inflating too high.
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:01 pm

dstblj52 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Vladex wrote:
A380 succeeded just like or above any other first generation of its kind but just like on this forum it's filled with a litany of competing FUD, pure misinformation and a total lack of long term thinking. A380 is still the best design for any future engine development , for any future electric aircraft and any single hub airline.

Don't blame this forum for lack of future thinking, blame Airbus. According to the 'father of the A380' ( ref: viewtopic.php?t=1445295&start=200#p22472153 and following posts ) A380 needed the -900 stretch to reach its full potential, and once T1000/GEnX engines were out it also needed new engines, yet Airbus chose to not put any more money back into the program till it earned back its initial EUR 15B+ investment, which never happened. Airbus took its shot at the VLA market, and once it saw the market reaction, it said 'no mas'.

Not shocking at some point you have to stop throwing good money after bad and it was by that point pretty clear the a380 was never going to make back any amount of money thrown at it

As someone pointed out it's a fine line to walk between criticizing A380 and saying they should have put more money into it. What I'm saying is I'm surprised Airbus didn't at least have one go at doing a NEO, yet as you point out this probably would have been more money spent for no gain, but then again Airbus is still putting money into A400M that it won't ever get back. The fact that even they could not justify spending more money on it shows that this is not a.net FUD/misinformation, it is Airbus making a decision based on finances. Whether or not that shows lack of future thinking is debatable. Right now it looks like killing A380 early rather than later is a pretty future-proof decision.

Noshow wrote:
The A321 proves that a double stretch can be successful, that a family concept can work and that even the (almost) same wing can be used for much higher weight. Quite relevant to the A380 discussion as this was what was intended for the A380 family to happen. Some double stretch. This is why many parts were oversized and this is why the -800 was not competitive with more modern twins.

The Jurgen Thomas interview (see above for link) suggests that he feels the -900 was the biggest possible 'tube with wings' VLA, so I'm not sure where that second stretch would come from. Also they would have filled the 80 meter box with the -900.

He does say the -900 would have come with some aero improvements (maybe the stuff that was the Plus package later?) so would have delivered great CASM, but never says anything about how the airlines would find enough passengers willing to pay a profitable fare to fill those extra seats. He says LH and AF were interested, but now we know LH never did take all the A380s they ordered and AF was the first to retire their entire fleet.

Leahy suggests Airbus should have waited till GEnX/T1000 generation engines were ready, Thomas disagrees and feels they should have launched when they did then done a NEO as soon as possible and of course done -800F and -900. Leahy feels they should have built a pax-optimized -800, Thomas feels that the sales team should have pushed the family concept and future expansion possibilities harder.

I guess no matter what they did they were going to be disappointed because they did not foresee the roles engines such as GE90-115B, GEnX and T1000 would be playing in their future. They seemed to have learned to wait for TXWB, GTF and LEAP though.

Wildlander wrote:
Stopping the A380F had major consequences!

The Thomas interview suggests that every A380F is taking a ~1.5% fuel burn hit because they made the main deck tall enough to hold full sized containers for almost all of its length. He also said trying to do A380 pax and freighter at the same time was "impossible", thus the freighter got dropped once the pax version got into trouble. They got pretty far along on the freighter (the Champion slides show some of the freighter's pieces had been made) so took the productivity hit for quite a while before having to drop it. In the end they did end up wasting a lot of resources for naught, and lost ~25 sales that would have helped the bottom line.
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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9Patch
Posts: 639
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:38 pm

Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 8:32 pm

enplaned wrote:
Polot wrote:
9Patch wrote:
How about the A350 wings? Did they go into an autoclave in one big piece or were they assembled from panels?

I’m not sure, but the second article enplaned linked to makes it sound like the skin is cured in one big piece. Likely more efficient from an aerodynamics and structural perspective. Less seams.

Most of the A350’s fuselage panels are quite large too. Not as massive as a whole barrel but we are not talking about small pieces.


There are critical parts of wings that are made in long single pieces to maximize strength and minimize weight. Spars, for instance.

This article, for instance, says that one of the single pieces on the Boeing 777X wing will be 100 ft long:

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... es-remain/


I believe if Airbus wanted to do a composite A380 they could have found a way.
Is there a limit on the size of autoclaves?
 
enplaned
Posts: 224
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:49 pm

Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 8:42 pm

9Patch wrote:
enplaned wrote:
Polot wrote:
I’m not sure, but the second article enplaned linked to makes it sound like the skin is cured in one big piece. Likely more efficient from an aerodynamics and structural perspective. Less seams.

Most of the A350’s fuselage panels are quite large too. Not as massive as a whole barrel but we are not talking about small pieces.


There are critical parts of wings that are made in long single pieces to maximize strength and minimize weight. Spars, for instance.

This article, for instance, says that one of the single pieces on the Boeing 777X wing will be 100 ft long:

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... es-remain/


I believe if Airbus wanted to do a composite A380 they could have found a way.
Is there a limit on the size of autoclaves?


That takes us back to how we got into this - Airbus built the A380 as the last widebody to be built of metal. I guess they felt that carbon fiber was not feasible, for whatever reason. Whatever drove that decision, it did leave the A380 on the wrong side of a technological divide.
 
9Patch
Posts: 639
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:38 pm

Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:34 pm

enplaned wrote:
9Patch wrote:
enplaned wrote:

There are critical parts of wings that are made in long single pieces to maximize strength and minimize weight. Spars, for instance.

This article, for instance, says that one of the single pieces on the Boeing 777X wing will be 100 ft long:

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... es-remain/


I believe if Airbus wanted to do a composite A380 they could have found a way.
Is there a limit on the size of autoclaves?


That takes us back to how we got into this - Airbus built the A380 as the last widebody to be built of metal. I guess they felt that carbon fiber was not feasible, for whatever reason. Whatever drove that decision, it did leave the A380 on the wrong side of a technological divide.

We don't even know if they considered carbon. They lacked the vision for carbon even on the initial proposals for the A350 Mark II. It was only after customers insisted on it, that they changed course.
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