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747400sp
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Airbus Future?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:00 pm

Since Airbus is axing the A340, does it look like Airbus is only going to produce only four plane types, A380s, A350s, A330s and A32Xs, for years to come, or will there be more changes in the future? The A330, looked like it was getting the ax soon also, but it been selling like hot cake lately, so will it stay around for a while?
 
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus Future?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:05 pm

Those four families are pretty popular, so.  

Boeing only has five families in production at the moment: 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787. And the 767 would likely have closed if not for winning the final KC-X RFP.
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Airbus Future?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:40 pm

I suspect four families is all, if not more than, each company can support and keep up to date. As Stitch says, the 767 is pretty well done commercially; Boeing is making no attempt to keep it current. It still sells as freighters, but as soon as the 787F is offered that will end. It will then exist strictly as a tanker.
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Cactus1549
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RE: Airbus Future?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:41 pm

Airbus future will be for single aisle the A32X NEO. It should be in competition with the 737MAX even if I believe the A32X NEO better designed. At least more efficient.
The A380 will become more and more a serious actor on the market. No freighter version forecasted but the extended range version this year for BAW and a 900 pax version for REU.
The A350 will compete with the B787 and it's forecasted to replace A330 in the next decade.
A nice program!
 
chiad
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RE: Airbus Future?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:45 pm

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
only four plane types, A380s, A350s, A330s and A32Xs

Only?   
Well .. the A340 production shuts down and A350 boots up.
But then comes all the derivatives.
A319, A320 and A321
A332, A333 and F
A358, A359 and A3510
A388 and A389 (watch this space)

That's a huge product range.
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Airbus Future?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:56 pm

The A330-200 is a great airplane for long, thin routes. The -300 is perfect for US-Europe flying when you really need the extra 50 seats. They can make all the difference between profit and loss. I would certainly look for the -200's to be around for the forseeable future.

The A330 is a beautiful aircraft from the outside. It just looks like it was made to fly and it is an easy airplane to work on. Like all Airbuses it has its quirks--loud popping and cracking sounds at the doors as it pressurizes, this weird little "earthquake" sensation that shakes the airframe on the ground as passengers board and more and more weight is placed on the gear. It settles down on the struts but it is strong enough to knock over drinks. And landings can be very interesting with pilots new to the aircraft and forget that it sits in a slightly nose down position on the ground so you have three distinct impacts--the rear tires of the main bogeys, the front tires that then take the weight of the aircraft and what can be a very unnerving SMASH as the nose gear hits the ground. I saw more than one passenger (and a few crew members) look up in horror at the noise.

The A380 is a technological wonder but let's face it A.netters. It is a plug ugly airplane from the outside. Still it is definitely a game changer. I wonder if a US carrier will be tempted to buy them to replace the now aging B747-400's. I tend to doubt it--the 777ER and LR seem to pick up that niche pretty well and two engines are cheaper to feed than four. However they do so risking their market share. That may eventually decide in its favor. Be interesting to see.
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sandyb123
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RE: Airbus Future?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:56 pm

Quoting Chiad (Reply 4):
A388

And at some point in the future probably an A380F, although that project is shelved for now.

Don't forget Airbus Military. The current range offering:

A400M
MRTT
C295
CN235
C212

Could you argue that the ATR product is airbus too, the company was established by Aérospatiale (now EADS) who still have 50% ownership and influence in the companies products?

I personally feel that Airbus will continue to be the strongest performing airframer, developing efficiencies to their existing product range in the short term and innovative new products in the future.

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DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Airbus Future?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:06 pm

Watch China very carefully. They are experienced in building transport aircraft and seem to have a potential winner with their latest offering. I think we will see them jumping in as a third competitor in the airliner production scheme with some very attractive pricing and financing options.

I miss Lockheed and McDonnell-Douglas. The DC8 is my all-time favorite airplane. What a tank it was!
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Geezer
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RE: Airbus Future?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:55 pm

Regarding Airbus, and especially the A-380..................

There have been many, many films shown of late on TV about the building of the A-380; I have enjoyed tremendously watching many of them. There is no doubt in my mind that the A 380 is a fantastic achievement, a great airplane after they get it all "put together"; what I fail to understand though is this; they build all of these gigantic "parts" all over Europe; then, they are faced with a certified logistics NIGHTMARE, getting huge fuselage sections trucked through tiny villages at night, trying to avoid low hanging wires, on narrow streets between buildings, then onto a huge river barge where they must deal with tides etc. in order to "inch" under many low bridges, in order to get all of these huge components to the assembly plant.

I spent a few years transporting over-width, over-weight, and over-height loads from point A to point B; being quite familiar with all of the many problems associated with this, and most important of all........the HUGE COSTS associated with moving vastly over-size "things", ( and the effects all of these huge costs have on the cost of the final product ), in this case the A-380, I naturally am somewhat bewildered by how Airbus is able to accomplish all of this without ending up with a final cost of production for the A-380 that does not completely negate all of it's many advantages.

Having to go through all these problems to build just a few "copies" is one thing; having to sustain any kind of a big production run is going to be quite another thing, I'm thinking ! Maybe they will build by-pass roads around villages, or some higher river / canal bridges ?

I would be most interested in hearing others thoughts about all of this.

BTW...............a few have noted that the A-380 is "less than beautiful"; in this case, I predict that we will almost certainly find out that "beauty" (as it applies to the A-380), is all in the "eye of the beholder". Over the next few years, I feel reasonably certain that the A-380's commercial success, ( or a lack of success ), will all depend on it's cost to operate, it's appeal to the flying public, and it's overall ability to generate a profit. As we all know, and as almost everyone agrees, Concorde was a beautiful airplane, but it has now been relegated to aviation history because of it's one big "flaw"........an ability to make a profit. Only time will tell how the A-380 will do in this regard. ( I wish it well. )

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Stitch
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RE: Airbus Future?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:28 pm

I imagine Airbus would have preferred having the subs closer to the TLS factory, but they did "sweat the details" to ensure that everything could get where it needed to be.

Quoting geezer (Reply 8):
Concorde was a beautiful airplane, but it has now been relegated to aviation history because of it's one big "flaw"........an ability to make a profit.

Concorde made plenty of    for BA and AF.  
 
cmf
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:18 am

Quoting geezer (Reply 8):
and the effects all of these huge costs have on the cost of the final product

I once saw a report stating transportation is less than 2% of the price. Pretty damn good for most products.

Quoting geezer (Reply 8):
Maybe they will build by-pass roads around villages, or some higher river / canal bridges ?

They already built some by-pass roads. Don't know but doubt more are planned. As to the canal bridges they went for the much cheaper solution of a barge that can be lowered enough.
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nimbus111
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:44 am

i think their current families are self sustaining enough for them. sometimes less is more maybe.
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tdscanuck
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:53 am

Quoting geezer (Reply 8):
I would be most interested in hearing others thoughts about all of this.

The rate is sufficiently low, the margin sufficiently high, and the cost of transportation such a small piece of the overall product cost, that I don't think it makes much bottom line difference. Slashing the transport cost by, say, 50% might move the product cost by 0.5%. In return, you'd incur huge non-recurring cost to move factories, switch partners, etc.

With capital expenditure as large as it is for heavy aircraft manufacturing plants, the cost to move that capability once it's built will pay for a *lot* of transportation inefficiency...just look at the 787...they had to develop an entirely new transportation aircraft type just to make that production system work and it was still cheaper than making the partners build plants in the Pacific Northwest.

Tom.
 
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:35 am

Quoting geezer (Reply 8):

I spent a few years transporting over-width, over-weight, and over-height loads from point A to point B; being quite familiar with all of the many problems associated with this, and most important of all........the HUGE COSTS associated with moving vastly over-size "things", ( and the effects all of these huge costs have on the cost of the final product ), in this case the A-380, I naturally am somewhat bewildered by how Airbus is able to accomplish all of this without ending up with a final cost of production for the A-380 that does not completely negate all of it's many advantages.

It's the way it was designed. There's a huge cost to move big things around, I'm sure. But it's different in this case: they've already gone around villages and widened the roads and everything. once and for all. So the cost is not that high now.
 
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:02 am

Quoting Chiad (Reply 4):
Only?   
Well .. the A340 production shuts down and A350 boots up.
But then comes all the derivatives.
A319, A320 and A321
A332, A333 and F
A358, A359 and A3510
A388 and A389 (watch this space)

That's a huge product range.

From this and other posts in this thread it seems like Airbus has quite the future ahead of them. With the A380 selling at a pretty good clip it I see no reason why this manufacturers future should be in question. What I am wondering is what does this mean for Boeing. As it has been pointed out in this thread they are pretty much concentrated on 737, 767, 777, 747, and 787.

Then my question is how committed is Boeing to the 747-8i. I see the freighter is doing well, or what is to be expected, but it seems to me that the PAX version is not selling as it was envisioned. With the 767 possibly a tanker frame soon and, from what I percieve, the 747-8i not doing as well. What does this mean for Boeing? Is the 787 market picking up steam? Or does the 737 market just kick that much "behind" that it is the cash cow?
 
cmf
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:24 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 12):
and it was still cheaper than making the partners build plants in the Pacific Northwest.

Adding to that. Despite many partners taking the cost of building new plants.
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JerseyFlyer
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:20 am

I think the A332 / A333 will eventually need replacing, maybe with a re-winged derivative of the A350. And I think the A3510 will take one more stretch in time also, with a high volume regional focus.

In which case only 3 A families in the future, but lots of derivatives of each.
 
sf260
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:52 am

Quoting JerseyFlyer (Reply 16):
I think the A332 / A333 will eventually need replacing,

The A350 IS the A330/A340 replacement. Airbus did try to update the A330, but customers weren't happy (enough). So the A350XWB was launched.

So future lines (past 2020); A320, A350, A380.

A350 is in development, soon production, is here to stay to at least 2030 without major updates. (A350-800, -900, -100, -900R, -F).

A320neo is also in development. EIS 2015-16. So it quiet safe to say production will continue as well to 2030.

The most interesting in Airbus future (as in new product) is the A380 imo. The production rate in 2013 will be 38-39, so backlog will shrink rapidly without new orders. So, what will sales be in the next 5 years? I have confidence we will see (a lot) more orders.But when? Probably when the world economy returns to a better state...
The A380 is the only solution for growth and (slot constrained) hub-to-hub (long haul) flights.

When will we see A380-900 launch (combined with -800 re-engine, updated XWB-engine?). I hope we see EIS before 2020.   
 
AirbusA370
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:19 pm

Quoting sf260 (Reply 17):
So future lines (past 2020); A320, A350, A380.

My bet would rather be A320neo, A330neo, A350xwb, A380neo  
 
2175301
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:32 pm

I don't see a question on the future of Airbus. The fact is that they would be a very profitable company if they only had the A320 & A330 families.

I actually think the biggest thing that will upset them is what is happening to the Euro (and the potential for Euro collapse). They will survive whatever happens; but, there could be a couple tough years. Of course, this comment also extends to several other large European manufacturers of other goods.

Have a great day,
 
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seabosdca
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:32 pm

Quoting sf260 (Reply 17):
So future lines (past 2020); A320, A350, A380.

Each of these is likely to see some changes. Obviously the A320neo is coming, and I think by 2020 we will have HGW variants of either the A320, the A321, or both, that have larger wings and can fly TATL. The A350-1100 seems likely, to compete with the 777-9X. It's looking like the A350-800 may never be built. And I think it's certain that the A380 will eventually get XWB engines (or a close relative).

But all of that still leaves Airbus with a giant hole between the A321 and the A359, through which Boeing can drive enormous 787 sales. Is an A330neo worth it to fill the hole?
 
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:03 pm

Quoting sf260 (Reply 17):
So future lines (past 2020); A320, A350, A380.



I would imagine that as we approaches 2020 the time will be ripening as to when a new NB will be feasible. So when the A380 is fully lined up with all its variants and the same is the case with the 350 then a replacement for the 320 will be needed. This will be interesting as we might see major technological jumps.
 
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:17 pm

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 20):
Is an A330neo worth it to fill the hole?

That could be called an A350-800.
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CaptSkibi
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:34 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 5):
Like all Airbuses it has its quirks...this weird little "earthquake" sensation that shakes the airframe on the ground as passengers board and more and more weight is placed on the gear. It settles down on the struts but it is strong enough to knock over drinks.

And I always thought that was because the palletized cargo or shipping containers were being "dropped" in the cargo hold, due to the nose down attitude of the aircraft. I didn't think the aircraft would shake like that from settling down on its struts.
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Revelation
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:43 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 10):
I once saw a report stating transportation is less than 2% of the price. Pretty damn good for most products.

Indeed, and the transit time isn't too important as long as the parts make it to the FAL on time.

IIRC, XFW was in the running as the FAL site and would have avoided many of the problems TLS has, but there were issues with performing the needed expansions at XFW.

Quoting JerseyFlyer (Reply 16):
And I think the A3510 will take one more stretch in time also, with a high volume regional focus.

I'm pretty dubious about the oft-mentioned stretches for both A350 and 787. I guess it'll be a few more years before we know if there really are products to sell in that space.
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cmf
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:47 pm

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 19):
I don't see a question on the future of Airbus. The fact is that they would be a very profitable company if they only had the A320 & A330 families.

Without future development programs they would be a dying company.

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 19):
I actually think the biggest thing that will upset them is what is happening to the Euro (and the potential for Euro collapse).

Relying largely on USD income they do well when EUR value goes down. IIRC they stated each 10 cent drop equals 1 BEUR increased profit.
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packsonflight
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:00 pm

I would not be surprised to see a 767/330-200 5500nm class aircraft from Airbus. It would be a straight forward copy of technology and manufacturing from the A350 with the old airbus wide body fuse diameter.

Program like that should be extreamly low risk and low cost and could be brought quickly to the market
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:25 pm

Do any of my fellow A,netters remember how Boeing stuck their noses in the air with Airbus's concept of flying together all of the parts on the old Super Guppy for final assembly? So now Boeing does exactly the same thing. Interesting who got the last laugh there.

If anyone ever gets out to Seattle Boeing does an awesome tour of the plant in Everett. Unfortunately they won't let you take photgraphs but it is really fun to see these huge sections moving through the plant on overhead cranes. They told us that it used to be that when the final wing mating was being done all other work in the plant had to stop as it was so delicate an operation.
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YYZYYT
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:30 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
Boeing only has five families in production at the moment: 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787. And the 767 would likely have closed if not for winning the final KC-X RFP.

And if you consider Boeing's history, I think that 4-5 different models at one time would be typical... How many were they offering in 1975, 1985 or 1995?

I am guessing 3 (727-737-747), 4 (737-747-757-767) and 5 (737-747-757-767-777) respectively. If anything, Airbus has only recently caught up.
 
airbazar
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:45 pm

Quoting sf260 (Reply 17):
So future lines (past 2020); A320, A350, A380.

I still think there will be a huge gap between the A321 and A358, and I find to be a much more "critical" gap than the one between the A3510 and A380. Just look at the sheer number of 767's flying TATL today.
 
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notaxonrotax
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:52 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 29):
I still think there will be a huge gap between the A321 and A358, and I find to be a much more "critical" gap than the one between the A3510 and A380. Just look at the sheer number of 767's flying TATL today.

A330 NEO.........and eventually the A330 replacement; the A360??

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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:53 pm

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 19):
I actually think the biggest thing that will upset them is what is happening to the Euro (and the potential for Euro collapse). They will survive whatever happens; but, there could be a couple tough years. Of course, this comment also extends to several other large European manufacturers of other goods.

Euro troubles are an unhappy thing, naturally. However, just to get the facts straight, gross orders by region in the first 9 months of 2011 for airbus were only 8% for Europe. For Boeing's 2011 orders, they have gotten 10% out those from Europe.

This just goes that we live in a global world, if one part is hurting it will show up every vendor's results.

Sources:

http://www.eads.com/dms/eads/int/en/...%20Earning%209m%202011%20final.pdf (page 11, not sure if they are counting planes or money for the order splits between regions)

http://active.boeing.com/commercial/...definedselection.cfm&pageid=m15527 (I checked for year 2011 orders for Europe vs. all regions. Orders are counted by plane counts, not by cost.)
 
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seabosdca
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:06 pm

Quoting aloges (Reply 22):
That could be called an A350-800.

Except that right now the 358 looks like it will have a hard time against the 789. It will have slightly less passenger capacity, significantly less cargo capacity, be somewhere between the same weight and a bit heavier, and be wider with bigger engines (more drag).

Honestly, especially on TATL and intra-Asia routes, the 333 looks like it has more potential to fight the 789 than the 358 does.

The A350 is really optimized for the 359 and 35J sizes.
 
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:54 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 29):
and I find to be a much more "critical" gap than the one between the A3510 and A380.

Would it be possible for Airbus to offer an A380SP, a shorter version of the -800 but maintaining the same structure (double deck airplane with 4 engines)?

That might help bridge the gap between the A3510 and the A388.

As far as the A321 to A358 gap, I suppose Airbus can come up with the A360. Of course, we'd have to see if demand is there. It's possible that airlines might be satisfied with the gap in place.
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:35 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 33):
Would it be possible for Airbus to offer an A380SP, a shorter version of the -800 but maintaining the same structure (double deck airplane with 4 engines)?

They could, but such a plane would suffer from being very heavy for it's size and this would result in likely unattractive economics.
 
airbazar
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:40 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 33):
Would it be possible for Airbus to offer an A380SP, a shorter version of the -800 but maintaining the same structure (double deck airplane with 4 engines)?

That might help bridge the gap between the A3510 and the A388.

I'm not sure that it's a gap needing to be bridged and the A388 is already a shrink. An even smaller version would likely be too heavy and inefficient.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 33):

As far as the A321 to A358 gap, I suppose Airbus can come up with the A360. Of course, we'd have to see if demand is there. It's possible that airlines might be satisfied with the gap in place.

The demand for the size is there, I think. The problem is making it efficient enough. The A332 started out as being the prefered model for TATL (thus it sold more frames). But a few years later the A333 can fly the same routes at about the same cost as the A332 but with more seats. Airlines are operating A333's not necessarily because they want a bigger plane but because they have nothing to lose compared with the A332.

So the key in my opinion is: Can A or B come up with a 4,000nm, 200-220 seat plane that is significantly more efficient than the A330/A350/787?
 
mffoda
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:02 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 34):
Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 33):
Would it be possible for Airbus to offer an A380SP, a shorter version of the -800 but maintaining the same structure (double deck airplane with 4 engines)?

They could, but such a plane would suffer from being very heavy for it's size and this would result in likely unattractive economics.

Maybe they could remove say... the the back 2/3's of the upper deck of the fuselage in order to reduce weight?

Oh wait, that would be the 747...     
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U2380
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:22 pm

Quoting mffoda (Reply 36):
Maybe they could remove say... the the back 2/3's of the upper deck of the fuselage in order to reduce weight?

Naa, that would probably make it even less efficient. I imagine the end result would be them unnecessarily prolonging the life of the program.  

Saying that, they could probably hope to get round that by releasing some unrealistic target fuel burn figures  

[Edited 2012-01-12 12:24:02]
 
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:36 pm

Quoting U2380 (Reply 37):
Quoting mffoda (Reply 36):
Maybe they could remove say... the the back 2/3's of the upper deck of the fuselage in order to reduce weight?

Naa, that would probably make it even less efficient.

Horror! You should not destroy the prettiest plane in the sky, the A380, with such a contraption! A bulging head for an airplane! Who would come up with such an ugly thing?
 
747400sp
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RE: Airbus Future?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:20 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 33):
Would it be possible for Airbus to offer an A380SP, a shorter version of the -800 but maintaining the same structure (double deck airplane with 4 engines)?








There was already a design like this call the A380-700. Airbus thought it would be a good replacement for 744.
 
Geezer
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RE: Airbus Future?

Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:52 am

[quote=a380900,reply=13]It's the way it was designed. There's a huge cost to move big things around, I'm sure. But it's different in this case: they've already gone around villages and widened the roads and everything. once and for all. So the cost is not that high now.


I had assumed this would have ( or already has ) been done.

Another thing I was thinking while watching all of these TV shows..............the people who produce "content" for television ALWAYS exaggerate the drama, always make everything appear as if it was a very "near miss"...........all of which is assumed to be necessary to attract an audience and to keep that audience "glued" to their seats.

Frankly, I sometimes think TV producers generally over-do the drama thing. Having said that, I still think the "Build-It-Bigger", and "Mega-Builder" shows are the best thing on TV, and are among the only things on TV I have any interest in spending my time on.

Thanks to everyone for the input.

Charley
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
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JerseyFlyer
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RE: Airbus Future?

Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:09 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 35):
So the key in my opinion is: Can A or B come up with a 4,000nm, 200-220 seat plane that is significantly more efficient than the A330/A350/787?

I am sure A can - a shorter re-winged (smaller wings) A350.

A have already stated the the A358 will be more efficient than the A332 on A332 routes, so a similar sized aircraft based on the A350 fuselage but optimised for less range must be substantially better than the A358 for that purpose and better than the B788/9 as well.

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