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LAX772LR
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A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:53 am

Seems Airbus has been awfully quiet on this derivative, since SQ took its delivery.... long before the pandemic hit, which I'm sure hasn't done it any favors.



I'm curious as to whether they've quietly abandoned it?
The last (and really, only other public) effort they seemed to have put into it, were to QF in the early days of Project Sunrise. Haven't heard a peep since then.

The reason I even ask, is because a poster on another thread wrote in and received (what we're taking to be) confirmation that the aircraft marketed as an ACJ350 to the German government, is actually a standard A359. The interest there is that the ACJs were supposed to come with the -ULR modifications standard; so it raises the question if Airbus is even offering that anymore, or did they decide to offer standard A359s as ACJs after the decision was made to bring the standard to 280T capability.

Seem odd that they'd go through a certification program, but then just end it after 7 aircraft, if that's indeed what happened.
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kaitak744
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:28 am

Yes it is simple. No one wanted to buy it.
 
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:54 am

Perhaps there's not real need for very long flights in general.
Anyone has any news on Project Sunrise?
 
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:57 am

Isn't this ULR only a standard A359 with the A35K fuel system activated?

I remember that SQ's PR material stated that it can be easily restored to A359 specs.
 
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:59 am

Why would they abandon it? Is there any incremental cost to offering it?

It seems to me like the last potential customers in the pipeline would be QF, ACJs, and maybe (big emphasis) BA. But otherwise I don't envision any other airline needing it. The threat of Airbus being able to offer it to a customer considering a 778 is probably the greatest asset of the program now.
 
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:05 am

Airlinerdude wrote:
Why would they abandon it? Is there any incremental cost to offering it?

It seems to me like the last potential customers in the pipeline would be QF, ACJs, and maybe (big emphasis) BA. But otherwise I don't envision any other airline needing it. The threat of Airbus being able to offer it to a customer considering a 778 is probably the greatest asset of the program now.


Yup. It's a niche aircraft, but it's a remarkably high commonality niche aircraft with minor modifications from a standard a359.

They may only sell 30 of them, but unlike other range extraordinaires like the a345 and 77L, this costs Airbus nothing to keep the line running.

It also might be the best outcome for Boeing too. The 778 made no sense as a passenger variant, so not building it might save burning some cash.

All in, remarkable job by Airbus on taking a a359 and extending its range so much successfully.
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:13 am

flee wrote:
Isn't this ULR only a standard A359 with the A35K fuel system activated?

I remember that SQ's PR material stated that it can be easily restored to A359 specs.


I believe so. Modified fuel system.

The front cargo compartment is also sealed off. I'm not sure if all the equipment is present inside either (don't think so).

Regardless, its a simple change to go from a ULR to a regular a359.
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:27 am

Airlinerdude wrote:
Why would they abandon it? Is there any incremental cost to offering it?

It seems to me like the last potential customers in the pipeline would be QF, ACJs, and maybe (big emphasis) BA. But otherwise I don't envision any other airline needing it. The threat of Airbus being able to offer it to a customer considering a 778 is probably the greatest asset of the program now.

Yes, it is perhaps a little ahead of its time - but SQ is an airline that likes to be ahead of the curve.

Another thing we should remember is that Airbus has a continuous improvement programme for its products. At the time the ULR was offered, the performance of the standard A359 is lower than what we can get today. I believe that new sharklets and a new wing twist originally designed for the A35K and ULR are also now on the A359. Coupled to weight reductions, increased MTOW and better engine performance, all these incremental improvements may have made the ULR less of a necessity to fly long range routes.
 
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:32 am

I think it is not necessary at the moment, the normal version of the A359 can fly SIN-LAX / SFO without restrictions and I think that for SQ at the moment it is better to focus on the west coast of the US than on the east coast, with a drop of I don't see the demand for business travel as very profitable SIN-EWR, a few months ago SQ obtained the permits to fly Tokyo - NYC with 5th freedom rights, it is better to focus on SIN - FRA - JFK and SIN - NRT - NYC than flying non- stop SIN-NYC
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:05 am

Basically, the range of the original A359/A35K is so good (or at least "good enough").
The A359ULR targets a very niche market (not many carriers on Earth needs to operate extremely long-haul routes except those carriers which unfortunately base in unfortunate geographical locations like SQ and QF).
Besides that, assume that many carriers need the A359ULR's range, most of them would choose to operate the route with a technical stop/transit point to improve passengers' experience (sitting more than 15 hours in a fuselage is truly a disaster) as well as improving the efficiency (basic principle: longer te route - less efficiency the airframe) and the profit.
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:48 am

A one off concept? More like a master chess move.

The standard A350-900 now has all the good bits developed for the A350-900ULR. The ULR was simply a
nice way of not pissing off the launch customers that were getting underperforming 268t MTOW aircraft. Airbus quickly worked out that the standard A350-900 structure had a lot of potential left in the design but they had lots of 268t rated parts under contract. After all these parts were used up all A350-900 aircraft received the improved ULR parts.

It is only on routes between 8000 and 8500nm where the ULR holds an advantage due to a slightly higher fuel tank capacity. Below 8000nm the normal model has an advantage and can carry more payload.

So the ULR has a tiny 500nm range window between 8000nm and 8500nm that covers only a handful of routes. Singapore to New York is one of them at 8287nm. Once you hit 8500nm between city pairs the ULR can no longer carry enough payload to be commercially viable in anything other than perfect weather conditions. It would not be surprising if the ULR never gets purchased again as very few city pairs sit inside this window.

Turkish Airlines might be the only customer that buys the A350-900ULR. They operate normal A350-900 aircraft but potential routes to Australia are between the 8000nm and 8500nm window of the ULR model.
 
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:09 am

Antaras wrote:
Basically, the range of the original A359/A35K is so good (or at least "good enough").
The A359ULR targets a very niche market (not many carriers on Earth needs to operate extremely long-haul routes except those carriers which unfortunately base in unfortunate geographical locations like SQ and QF).
Besides that, assume that many carriers need the A359ULR's range, most of them would choose to operate the route with a technical stop/transit point to improve passengers' experience (sitting more than 15 hours in a fuselage is truly a disaster) as well as improving the efficiency (basic principle: longer te route - less efficiency the airframe) and the profit.


QF had of course selected the 35K for "Project Sunrise", but not entered into contract pre-COVID, so perhaps that was becoming a sweeter spot for the ULR market. But I don't disagree that 15hrs+ is challenging as a passenger, especially if it's only one sector of your trip
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:10 am

We should also keep in mind that the A350-1000 can do very long range routes (Project Sunrise being the proof). Also, SQ's A350-ULRs are in a 2 class config (Business and Premium Economy).

Before COVID hit, I was expecting SQ to go with A350-1000s to replace the 777-300s, and with the A350-ULRs to eventually be replaced with A350-1000s in a 4 class configuration. That said, post-COVID this may change given the reduction in capacity requirements.
 
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:14 am

It's strange that this model is likely to only ever have a single customer (SQ) and people here are praising it for that exact reason. If virtually any other type or model had that few sales people would be damning it as a massive failure. I mean just look at planes like the A330-800neo or the A319neo, among others.
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:16 am

I know it's early, but just in case in the future SQ decides to retire the A359ULR in favor of new generation aircraft (maybe 10-20 years from), what would be more likely: the planes being converted back to regular A359 standard and sold off, kept as ULRs and perhaps sold off to another carrier or VIP operators, or head to the scrapyard?
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:55 am

filipinoavgeek wrote:
It's strange that this model is likely to only ever have a single customer (SQ) and people here are praising it for that exact reason. If virtually any other type or model had that few sales people would be damning it as a massive failure. I mean just look at planes like the A330-800neo or the A319neo, among others.


The A359ULR is a minor change to the basic A359 frame. Infact it can be switched back to the regular variant with minimal cost/effort. In that sense it is a quick fix, low cost solution that doesnt cost Airbus much to offer and gives airlines the ability to switch. Sharp contrast to 777-8 or others.

Airbus' modular approach seems to be paying big dividends. I think this is similar to what they did with the A319LR solution for Etihad.
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:03 am

It’s not marketed because it’s something that can be converted and delivered if an airline needs such for a long range mission. It will always be available , how ever the market doesn’t overwhelmingly need it
 
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:06 am

BawliBooch wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:
It's strange that this model is likely to only ever have a single customer (SQ) and people here are praising it for that exact reason. If virtually any other type or model had that few sales people would be damning it as a massive failure. I mean just look at planes like the A330-800neo or the A319neo, among others.


The A359ULR is a minor change to the basic A359 frame. Infact it can be switched back to the regular variant with minimal cost/effort. In that sense it is a quick fix, low cost solution that doesnt cost Airbus much to offer and gives airlines the ability to switch. Sharp contrast to 777-8 or others.

Airbus' modular approach seems to be paying big dividends. I think this is similar to what they did with the A319LR solution for Etihad.


This. Big big difference from the a338, 77L, a345, a319neo etc.

The a350ULR is an a359 and can be converted if needed. It's a niche modification to a normal aircraft, not a niche variant that's limited.

The 778 never made sense. It's like an a338, pointless.
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:22 am

flee wrote:
Isn't this ULR only a standard A359 with the A35K fuel system activated?

No. It's got relocated fuel sensors and pumps, plus a modified inerting system, that grants it more use of the already existing (massive!) tank.

The A35K does not offer this same volume currently, though likely would've in the (still very loosely defined) offering that Airbus made to QF.


RJMAZ wrote:
So the ULR has a tiny 500nm range window between 8000nm and 8500nm that covers only a handful of routes.

Where are you getting those numbers? While I know better than to take catalogue offering as anything beyond a mere suggestion, what you're suggesting is far below what Airbus advertises the plane as capable of with a commercially-viable payload.



RainerBoeing777 wrote:
it is better to focus on SIN - FRA - JFK and SIN - NRT - NYC than flying non- stop SIN-NYC

You're a bit behind the times, as SQ has already announced that it will resume its SIN-JFK route, but as a nonstop without FRA..... utilizing a standard A359 at that.
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:39 am

But back to the OP's question, given that it appears that no one else other than SQ will ever order the ULR and even the ACJ appears to no longer be using that standard, how likely is it that Airbus would just quietly discontinue the ULR program (assuming they already haven't?) and no longer accept any new orders.

Antarius wrote:
a338, pointless.

The A338 probably no longer makes any financial sense at this point, true, especially with the whole A330neo program in trouble right now. Very likely if AAX goes under or cuts its orders, it could be curtains for the A330neo. Still, I know there's a certain person here on A.net who would disagree with your sentiment about the A338 (even if almost everyone else here, myself included, more-or-less agrees with you).
Last edited by filipinoavgeek on Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:47 am

LAX772LR wrote:
The reason I even ask, is because a poster on another thread wrote in and received (what we're taking to be) confirmation that the aircraft marketed as an ACJ350 to the German government, is actually a standard A359.


Airbus offers both the A359 and A35K as ACJs. All A359s built now have the same basic features like gear and fuel systems, to activate the additional features be it takeoff weight or fuel operators need to pay Airbus a fee. If I recall correctly it was Iberia that first got one of these, and the reason why Airbus did this is they have standardized parts between the A359 and A35K to reduce production costs.

LAX772LR wrote:
No. It's got relocated fuel sensors and pumps, plus a modified inerting system, that grants it more use of the already existing (massive!) tank.

The A35K does not offer this same volume currently, though likely would've in the (still very loosely defined) offering that Airbus made to QF.


Pumps and sensors are the same on the all the 359s these days, it’s a matter of software. The A35K has different volume because of the extra bay for the triple bogey main gear which is around 2’ wider.
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:46 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
So the ULR has a tiny 500nm range window between 8000nm and 8500nm that covers only a handful of routes.

Where are you getting those numbers? While I know better than to take catalogue offering as anything beyond a mere suggestion, what you're suggesting is far below what Airbus advertises the plane as capable of with a commercially-viable payload.

I used data from real A350-900 flights on the SIN-LAX and SIN-JFK routes flying both directions. The takeoff weight, fuel burnt, landing weights and payload are all easy to access.

The brochure range does not take into account headwinds. A routes profitability depends on year round profit. When an aircraft hits it's limit it is amazing how many rows of seats need to be blocked to get an extra 100nm of fuel to cover bad weather. The airline will want more than 5% headroom over the brochure ACAP range.

The 787-9 flying LAX-SIN is a perfect example of a route being stopped due to the winter headwinds requiring a massive number of blocked seats. Yet SFO-SIN which is only 280nm shorter never gets restrictions.

The A350-900 ACAP lists a 8,100nm range with 325 passengers or 8,400nm with 280 passengers. The A350-900ULR extra fuel capacity comes into play at a range of 8,600nm on the ACAP and the passenger load must be below 25t to use the extra fuel capacity.

A city pair 8,000nm apart will often take off with fuel for 8,600nm if the weather is bad. That is why I put the changeover point to operate the ULR on routes over 8,000nm.
 
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:43 pm

Antarius wrote:
The front cargo compartment is also sealed off. I'm not sure if all the equipment is present inside either (don't think so).


Curious.... What drove the decision to seal off the forward cargo hold?
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:45 pm

DL747400 wrote:
Antarius wrote:
The front cargo compartment is also sealed off. I'm not sure if all the equipment is present inside either (don't think so).


Curious.... What drove the decision to seal off the forward cargo hold?


I believe it is just to save weight. The ULR has low capacity (compared to a regular a359), so they don't need the forward hold for bags.

"The A350-900ULR can be ‘reversed’ into a standard -900 if the airline decides. From an airframe perspective it is ‘paperwork’ and you need to re-activate the forward cargo hold…and install the cargo-loading system."


See: https://www.flightglobal.com/systems-an ... 85.article
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:21 pm

flee wrote:
Isn't this ULR only a standard A359 with the A35K fuel system activated?

I remember that SQ's PR material stated that it can be easily restored to A359 specs.


essentially the ULR properties have been folded into the baseline model. ( MTOW:280t )

remaining difference : more useable fuel space ( which was mostly showing "full" at different filling levels :-)
probably a check on order item now?
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:13 pm

DL747400 wrote:
Antarius wrote:
The front cargo compartment is also sealed off. I'm not sure if all the equipment is present inside either (don't think so).


Curious.... What drove the decision to seal off the forward cargo hold?


I could imagine CG (Center of Gravity) problems come into play.
 
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:23 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
I'm curious as to whether they've quietly abandoned it?


Considering the modifications are mostly software-related with some physical changes to the fuel delivery and inerting system, building them on-demand would not be something that would complicate the production line.


LAX772LR wrote:
The interest there is that the ACJs were supposed to come with the -ULR modifications standard; so it raises the question if Airbus is even offering that anymore, or did they decide to offer standard A359s as ACJs after the decision was made to bring the standard to 280T capability.


Media reports say the German Air Force frames are ACJ350 and it has been confirmed they have a range of 18,000km which is close to the ACJ350's brochure range of 20,000km. I expect the GAF frames are heavier than a business jet configuration so that would account for the shorter range.

LAX772LR wrote:
Seem odd that they'd go through a certification program, but then just end it after 7 aircraft, if that's indeed what happened.


The program was probably pretty simple. Might not have even needed a flight since they would be filling the tanks and measuring the volume and then perform a controlled purge via the fuel dump system.
 
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:13 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
The A350-900 ACAP lists a 8,100nm range with 325 passengers or 8,400nm with 280 passengers.


The ACAPS only lists 325 passengers.

https://www.airbus.com/content/dam/corp ... 0-1000.pdf
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:11 am

Airlinerdude wrote:
It seems to me like the last potential customers in the pipeline would be QF, ACJs, and maybe (big emphasis) BA. But otherwise I don't envision any other airline needing it..


Air China might be interested in the future for non-stop South America.
 
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:07 am

workhorse wrote:
Air China might be interested in the future for non-stop South America.

Except that it wouldn't do them much good, as the only route within even the brochure range, would be something like PEK/PVG-BAQ.

The likes of PEK-GRU is more than 1000nm beyond what Airbus advertises the aircraft as capable of, in even the most favorable conditions-- much less real-world ones. Same for EZE, LIM, SCL, etc.
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:28 am

Antarius wrote:
Airlinerdude wrote:
Why would they abandon it? Is there any incremental cost to offering it?

It seems to me like the last potential customers in the pipeline would be QF, ACJs, and maybe (big emphasis) BA. But otherwise I don't envision any other airline needing it. The threat of Airbus being able to offer it to a customer considering a 778 is probably the greatest asset of the program now.


Yup. It's a niche aircraft, but it's a remarkably high commonality niche aircraft with minor modifications from a standard a359.

I think of it as a modification not a model. Like the 777 400 ER that Boeing did for QF.
They may only sell 30 of them, but unlike other range extraordinaires like the a345 and 77L, this costs Airbus nothing to keep the line running.

It also might be the best outcome for Boeing too. The 778 made no sense as a passenger variant, so not building it might save burning some cash.

All in, remarkable job by Airbus on taking a a359 and extending its range so much successfully.
 
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:31 am

Antarius wrote:
Airlinerdude wrote:
Why would they abandon it? Is there any incremental cost to offering it?

It seems to me like the last potential customers in the pipeline would be QF, ACJs, and maybe (big emphasis) BA. But otherwise I don't envision any other airline needing it. The threat of Airbus being able to offer it to a customer considering a 778 is probably the greatest asset of the program now.


Yup. It's a niche aircraft, but it's a remarkably high commonality niche aircraft with minor modifications from a standard a359.

They may only sell 30 of them, but unlike other range extraordinaires like the a345 and 77L, this costs Airbus nothing to keep the line running.
I'm
It also might be the best outcome for Boeing too. The 778 made no sense as a passenger variant, so not building it might save burning some cash.

All in, remarkable job by Airbus on taking a a359 and extending its range so much successfully.


I think of it as a modification not a model. Like the 777 400 ER that Boeing did for QF.
 
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:17 am

workhorse wrote:
Airlinerdude wrote:
It seems to me like the last potential customers in the pipeline would be QF, ACJs, and maybe (big emphasis) BA. But otherwise I don't envision any other airline needing it..


Air China might be interested in the future for non-stop South America.

Something that will most likely stay in your mind.

They can do it today to PTY if needed. They chose not to. It'd be lucky if they keep GRU route in the long-run - it's a 2-week trip alone to the crew involved.

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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:20 am

JerseyFlyer wrote:
Antarius wrote:
Airlinerdude wrote:
Why would they abandon it? Is there any incremental cost to offering it?

It seems to me like the last potential customers in the pipeline would be QF, ACJs, and maybe (big emphasis) BA. But otherwise I don't envision any other airline needing it. The threat of Airbus being able to offer it to a customer considering a 778 is probably the greatest asset of the program now.


Yup. It's a niche aircraft, but it's a remarkably high commonality niche aircraft with minor modifications from a standard a359.

They may only sell 30 of them, but unlike other range extraordinaires like the a345 and 77L, this costs Airbus nothing to keep the line running.
I'm
It also might be the best outcome for Boeing too. The 778 made no sense as a passenger variant, so not building it might save burning some cash.

All in, remarkable job by Airbus on taking a a359 and extending its range so much successfully.


I think of it as a modification not a model. Like the 777 400 ER that Boeing did for QF.

Or even the 747-400ER...…..agree with the view that TK might look to the A359ULR should they decide on Australia services.
 
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:30 am

LAX772LR wrote:
workhorse wrote:
Air China might be interested in the future for non-stop South America.

Except that it wouldn't do them much good, as the only route within even the brochure range, would be something like PEK/PVG-BAQ.

The likes of PEK-GRU is more than 1000nm beyond what Airbus advertises the aircraft as capable of, in even the most favorable conditions-- much less real-world ones. Same for EZE, LIM, SCL, etc.


Well, SYD-LHR that the Project Sunrise A35K is supposed to be able to do with full passenger load, is 9188nm Great Circle, while PEK-LIM is "only" 8974nm, so if it can do the former, it should be able to do the latter.

Bolivia is slightly further, with PEK-LPB at 9370 nm (180nm further than LHR-SYD) and VVI-PEK at 9459 nm (270nm further than SYD-LHR), but still should be doable with reduced passenger load (it could be a routing like PEK-LPB-VVI-PEK to be able to take off at full MTOW for the trip back).

PEK-UIO is 8277nm and GYE-PEK is 8364nm, a walk in the park for a Project Sunrise A350 (could be PEK-UIO-GYE-PEK).

SCL, EZE and GRU are probably off limits for now.
 
workhorse
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:42 am

eamondzhang wrote:
workhorse wrote:
Airlinerdude wrote:
It seems to me like the last potential customers in the pipeline would be QF, ACJs, and maybe (big emphasis) BA. But otherwise I don't envision any other airline needing it..


Air China might be interested in the future for non-stop South America.

Something that will most likely stay in your mind.

They can do it today to PTY if needed. They chose not to. It'd be lucky if they keep GRU route in the long-run - it's a 2-week trip alone to the crew involved.

Michael


Why not? Business and political ties between China and South America are ever growing. 10 years ago, who could have imagined a route like CDG-KWE? And yet it has been launched (although, granted, COVID may end up being the death of it). PEK-LPB or PEK-UIO certainly seem to me to be less weird than CDG-KWE...
 
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zeke
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:55 pm

workhorse wrote:

Why not? Business and political ties between China and South America are ever growing. 10 years ago, who could have imagined a route like CDG-KWE? And yet it has been launched (although, granted, COVID may end up being the death of it). PEK-LPB or PEK-UIO certainly seem to me to be less weird than CDG-KWE...


If I were to wager a route in South America to start first it would be PEK-CCS due to the strong political ties.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
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BaconButty
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:24 pm

JerseyFlyer wrote:
I think of it as a modification not a model. Like the 777 400 ER that Boeing did for QF.


I'd say the way to think of it is as a blanket label for a suite of incremental improvements. IIRC the ULR consisted of

  • New winglet
  • "Wing twist" changes
  • An 280T MTOW weight variant
  • Fuel system changes to allow more fuel in the center tank
And probably more we never knew about.

The first two actually beat the ULR into service. There was at least one other 380T weight variant available last time I looked. The fuel capacity changes might well see the light of day again on the -1000. The notion that only a handful were built and therefore implying there was a failure is missing the point entirely.
Down with that sort of thing!
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:04 pm

BaconButty wrote:
JerseyFlyer wrote:
I think of it as a modification not a model. Like the 777 400 ER that Boeing did for QF.


I'd say the way to think of it is as a blanket label for a suite of incremental improvements. IIRC the ULR consisted of

  • New winglet
  • "Wing twist" changes
  • An 280T MTOW weight variant
  • Fuel system changes to allow more fuel in the center tank
And probably more we never knew about.

The first two actually beat the ULR into service. There was at least one other 380T weight variant available last time I looked. The fuel capacity changes might well see the light of day again on the -1000. The notion that only a handful were built and therefore implying there was a failure is missing the point entirely.


Agreed. There were composite door frames ported back from the -1000 as well.

(With my "777 400 ER" and your "380T" it seems we are both having a fat finger day!)
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:03 am

workhorse wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
workhorse wrote:
Air China might be interested in the future for non-stop South America.

The likes of PEK-GRU is more than 1000nm beyond what Airbus advertises the aircraft as capable of, in even the most favorable conditions-- much less real-world ones. Same for EZE, LIM, SCL, etc.

Well, SYD-LHR that the Project Sunrise A35K

Was to be flown by a proposed-but-unlaunched model that we weren't talking about here.........



BaconButty wrote:
The first two actually beat the ULR into service.

First three actually.

They all were on IB's EC-MXV, which featured the new winglet, new wingtip, and 280T MTOW, in service for July 2018.

SQ's first -ULR went into service three months later.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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flee
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:57 am

I feel that the A350-900ULR is more of a marketing chest thumping exercise in conjunction with SQ's SIN-EWR launch publicity campaign.

Most of the features of the ULR were certified either for the standard version or the A35K. So there is nothing really radical about it except that they were all combined into the ULR.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:12 am

flee wrote:
Most of the features of the ULR were certified either for the standard version or the A35K. So there is nothing really radical about it except that they were all combined into the ULR.

You have it backwards. Most of the unique features meant for the -ULR were incorporated into the standard A359, and two years earlier than initially scheduled, at that.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
olle
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:26 am

LAX772LR wrote:
flee wrote:
Most of the features of the ULR were certified either for the standard version or the A35K. So there is nothing really radical about it except that they were all combined into the ULR.

You have it backwards. Most of the unique features meant for the -ULR were incorporated into the standard A359, and two years earlier than initially scheduled, at that.


Perhaps this will be the answer, the ULR might not be needed because the base line develops so fast.
 
filipinoavgeek
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:35 am

olle wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
flee wrote:
Most of the features of the ULR were certified either for the standard version or the A35K. So there is nothing really radical about it except that they were all combined into the ULR.

You have it backwards. Most of the unique features meant for the -ULR were incorporated into the standard A359, and two years earlier than initially scheduled, at that.


Perhaps this will be the answer, the ULR might not be needed because the base line develops so fast.


It's been mentioned that the ULR can be converted to a regular A359. What about the other way around: could later-build A359s be converted to ULRs if needed?

One thing I do not get is why does it seem that Airbus only marketed the A359ULR specifically to SQ and to no one else (except maybe Qantas?). It's not like the 747-400ER that only Qantas ordered but apparently was also shopped around by Boeing to other operators as well, and in any case did see non-Qantas operators albeit as a freighter.
RIP 9V-SKA
2007 - 2019
 
eamondzhang
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:42 am

workhorse wrote:
eamondzhang wrote:
workhorse wrote:

Air China might be interested in the future for non-stop South America.

Something that will most likely stay in your mind.

They can do it today to PTY if needed. They chose not to. It'd be lucky if they keep GRU route in the long-run - it's a 2-week trip alone to the crew involved.

Michael


Why not? Business and political ties between China and South America are ever growing. 10 years ago, who could have imagined a route like CDG-KWE? And yet it has been launched (although, granted, COVID may end up being the death of it). PEK-LPB or PEK-UIO certainly seem to me to be less weird than CDG-KWE...

Because luckily those people in charge are not as fairytale as a few a.netters here.

And routes like CDG-KWE will never get launched if there's no significant subsidies in the back of it. This is the only reason it got launched.

Michael
 
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Stitch
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:25 pm

filipinoavgeek wrote:
It's been mentioned that the ULR can be converted to a regular A359. What about the other way around: could later-build A359s be converted to ULRs if needed?


It has been reported that there are some physical differences in the fuel system related to the nitrogen inert and the fuel dump system which either cannot be retrofitted or might be too expensive (in terms of labor hours) to incorporate so Airbus does not appear to offer such a conversion.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:40 pm

Stitch wrote:
Media reports say the German Air Force frames are ACJ350 and it has been confirmed they have a range of 18,000km which is close to the ACJ350's brochure range of 20,000km. I expect the GAF frames are heavier than a business jet configuration so that would account for the shorter range.

GAF is more commonly called the Luftwaffe, which most people worldwide understand.
 
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zeke
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:14 am

Stitch wrote:
It has been reported that there are some physical differences in the fuel system related to the nitrogen inert and the fuel dump system which either cannot be retrofitted or might be too expensive (in terms of labor hours) to incorporate so Airbus does not appear to offer such a conversion.


Nothing stopping a newish A350 post the Iberia 280 tonne ones being made into a ULR. The early A350s would not be suitable as there were many changes incorporated with the A350-1000 changes.

There is nothing different about the fuel tank flammability reduction technology, it is not a nitrogen inerting system, it is a oxygen reduction technology. It is similar to reverse osmosis with salt water, normal air is passed through a special filter that removes some oxygen (which is vented overboard) from the air, the air coming out is not 0% oxygen, oxygen is reduced to a level where it no longer supports combustion.

The higher risk for flammability is when the tank is at low fuel volume and more air is present, the tank air volume is indifferent between models.

Airbus is not producing different base airframes. They do this to reduce their production costs.

The ULR is more akin to a different interior specification, it is a below floor change where they deactivate the forward hold.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 1956
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:13 am

zeke wrote:
Stitch wrote:
It has been reported that there are some physical differences in the fuel system related to the nitrogen inert and the fuel dump system which either cannot be retrofitted or might be too expensive (in terms of labor hours) to incorporate so Airbus does not appear to offer such a conversion.


Nothing stopping a newish A350 post the Iberia 280 tonne ones being made into a ULR. The early A350s would not be suitable as there were many changes incorporated with the A350-1000 changes.

There is nothing different about the fuel tank flammability reduction technology, it is not a nitrogen inerting system, it is a oxygen reduction technology. It is similar to reverse osmosis with salt water, normal air is passed through a special filter that removes some oxygen (which is vented overboard) from the air, the air coming out is not 0% oxygen, oxygen is reduced to a level where it no longer supports combustion.

The higher risk for flammability is when the tank is at low fuel volume and more air is present, the tank air volume is indifferent between models.

Airbus is not producing different base airframes. They do this to reduce their production costs.

The ULR is more akin to a different interior specification, it is a below floor change where they deactivate the forward hold.

I think you're splitting hair (or is it air?) here.
The "special filter" is a molecular sieve, and it separates oxygen from the rest, dumping it outboards (in the case of Tank Inerting Systems, or towards usage in the case of Oxygen Generators) and leaving the air more nitrogen-biased than the normal 80% N2/20% O2 ratio that we see; it ends up being around 10-12%, i.e. half of normal O2 concentration.
At the end of the day, the idea if to pump more nitrogen in the tank as fuel is burnt to prevent combustion.
 
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zeke
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Re: A350-900ULR: a one-off concept?

Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:00 am

WayexTDI wrote:
I think you're splitting hair (or is it air?) here.
The "special filter" is a molecular sieve, and it separates oxygen from the rest, dumping it outboards (in the case of Tank Inerting Systems, or towards usage in the case of Oxygen Generators) and leaving the air more nitrogen-biased than the normal 80% N2/20% O2 ratio that we see; it ends up being around 10-12%, i.e. half of normal O2 concentration.
At the end of the day, the idea if to pump more nitrogen in the tank as fuel is burnt to prevent combustion.


Kind of true, nitrogen fuel inerting systems are normally associated with military aircraft that have a onboard liquid nitrogen tank that can trickle/high flow feed pure nitrogen into tanks. These are normally fitted to military aircraft where there is the risk of battle damage.

Civil aircraft normally use one of two different technologies to reduce the oxygen levels in air, and Airbus is using this for flammability reduction inside fuel tanks, and also on the A350 in the cargo hold.

BTW the time where these systems have the highest demand on civil aircraft is on descent when more air enters the tanks.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News

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