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Stitch
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Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:22 pm

Leeham.net's European division has posted a thesis on possible improvements to the A380-800 - including a New Engine Option - to keep it fully competitive with the A350-1000 and 777-9 beyond it's sheer capacity.

The link is at http://leehamnews.com/2014/02/03/upd...-a-neo-version-and-whats-involved/

There has been some discussion of this article already in the A380 production thread, but in the interests of allowing that thread to stay on topic, and with a previous topic on the subject - Possibility Of An A380 NEO Being Launched? (by Heavierthanair Jan 3 2014 in Civil Aviation) - being archived, I have started this thread to begin discussion of the article.

The Leeham.net article compares the 777-300ER, the 747-8 and the A380-800, all of which have been "normalized" with the same type of seating to provide a common frame of reference. Using these numbers, the 777-300ER has 5% lower fuel burn per seat than the A380-800 and 8% better than the 747-8, however when load factors are high, the greater capacity of the A380 allows more than sufficient revenue to compensate for the higher fuel burn.

When the 777-9 is added to the picture, however, the model changes rather significantly, with a 13% better fuel consumption per seat number (when configured at 10-abreat - the number shrinks to 9% when configured at 9-abreast). The 777-9's extra 51 seats over the 777-300ER also narrows the revenue generation advantage of the A380's capacity. The 777-9, like the 777-300ER, also has a significant revenue cargo advantage over the A380-800 (at least in terms of volume).

[Edited 2014-02-03 08:35:39]
 
wolbo
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:28 pm

Interesting. Until now I thought that the Trent XWB was the most likely candidate for an A380neo but according to this article it seems the T1000-TEN would be a better candidate.
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:32 pm

Quoting wolbo (Reply 1):
Until now I thought that the Trent XWB was the most likely candidate for an A380neo but according to this article it seems the T1000-TEN would be a better candidate.

The Trent XWB is a pretty heavy engine and would add around 4 tons additional weight (wing reinforcements and pylons not included). That's a significant amount of weight.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:40 pm

Quoting wolbo (Reply 1):
Until now I thought that the Trent XWB was the most likely candidate for an A380neo but according to this article it seems the T1000-TEN would be a better candidate.

There would also be synergies for Rolls-Royce in being able to offer a bleed-air version of the Trent 1000-TEN for the A330neo and the A380neo.
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:59 pm

G'day

With the A 380 stretch being moved out into the more distant future, a new engine for the present A 380 does not have to cover that application, simplifying things for engine manufacturers quite a bit. Present RR and EA engines have been designed with the stretch engineered-in, likely making them less than optimal i.e. heavier and less efficient. That allows versions of the GEnx or Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-TEN to be optimized for that very application, allowing the A 388 to regain ground lost in efficiency over its competitors.

Should a stretched A380 materialize at some time in the future, which in my opinion very much depends on the success of the present reengined version, that could use an optimized Trent XWB or whatever else will be available at the time. With the launch date of that stretched version that far out Airbus has other things to worry about than what engine to put on that.


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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:29 pm

Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
Leeham.net's European division has posted a thesis on possible improvements to the A380-800 - including a New Engine Option - to keep it fully competitive with the A350-1000 and 777-9 beyond it's sheer capacity.

A recent article in AviationWeek quoted unnamed Airbus sources that a re-engined A380 would be a particularly difficult (and hence expensive) engineering challenge.

Given the poor sales prospects for the A380 (both ceo and likely neo), and the fact that the A380 program is still far from breakeven, any major A380 improvements are unlikely. This, of course, creates a catch-22 as the 777-X and 359/1 encroach on the lower end of the 388 market capacity wise and with better seat mile costs. The future does not appear to look good for the 388.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:48 pm

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 5):
Given the poor sales prospects for the A380 (both ceo and likely neo), and the fact that the A380 program is still far from breakeven, any major A380 improvements are unlikely.

While I agree Airbus is likely not going to be interested in spending a significant amount of money (more than a couple billion Euro) on the A380, program break-even is not going to play much, if any, role in Airbus improving the A380. After all, every additional sale improves the RoI of the program.

While both RR and GE are said to want exclusivity on offering a new engine option for the A330 family, if that engine could also be adapted to the A380 with minimal effort, that would give Airbus leverage to deny such exclusivity while still providing a sufficient market to convince both OEMs to commit.

The one issue for GE is that on the A380 they share the GP7200 engine with P&W via the Engine Alliance consortium and GE and/or Airbus would likely need to buy PW out of the program. With Emirates Airline accounting for almost two-thirds of the GP7200 order book and most of the rest of the GP7200 operators also GE customers, this may not be too much of an issue for the customers if the A380neo has a GE option as opposed to an EA option.



Quoting yyz717 (Reply 5):
This, of course, creates a catch-22 as the 777-X and 359/1 encroach on the lower end of the 388 market capacity wise and with better seat mile costs.

Which is why it is in Airbus' interests to look into improving the A380's economics, be it aero (sharklets/winglets), capacity (11-abreast Economy), new engines or a combination of two or all three.



Quoting yyz717 (Reply 5):
The future does not appear to look good for the 388.

A number of folks see doom for the A380 at every corner, but I believe that there is far too little information for the jury of the market to return a final verdict.
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:15 pm

Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
The Leeham.net article compares the 777-300ER, the 747-8 and the A380-800, all of which have been "normalized" with the same type of seating to provide a common frame of reference. Using these numbers, the 777-300ER has 5% lower fuel burn per seat than the A380-800 and 8% better than the 747-8, however when load factors are high, the greater capacity of the A380 allows more than sufficient revenue to compensate for the higher fuel burn.

Those numbers seem to be at odds with what the operators that have both in their fleet say, I think 9 of the A380 operators also have 777 (not all have the -300ER). I see the types are being complementary, and I would expect the types both to get in service upgrades. What this will entail for the A380 is anyones guess, however I would suggest it would build on the A350 wing and engine technology. I would expect an upgraded A380 to have a variable camber wing like the A350, not just a powerplant upgrade. I think Airbus if had their time over would reconfigure the landing gear as well, if they could increase the aft cargo bay to include 2xLD3s all the way it would significantly increase the cargo volume. New engines would help this as well, as the fuel required would reduce meaning the aircraft MTOW would not need much if any growth.

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 5):
A recent article in AviationWeek quoted unnamed Airbus sources that a re-engined A380 would be a particularly difficult (and hence expensive) engineering challenge.

Would that be the same AviationWeek that had unnamed sources during the KC-X campaign that basically said the same about the A330MRTT, and yet it is now in service with Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Air Force, United Arab Emirates Air Force, and Royal Saudi Air Force. The USAF is still years away from a new tanker being in service.

Or would that be the AviationWeek that reported how well the 787 is tracking on schedule, performance, and weight ?
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:28 pm

Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
The Leeham.net article compares the 777-300ER, the 747-8 and the A380-800, all of which have been "normalized" with the same type of seating to provide a common frame of reference.

Hmm, quote from the article:

Quote:
Fuel constitutes about 50% of long-haul costs; therefore we will focus on this main cost parameter for this comparison between the aircraft.

For a proper analysis, shouldn't they consider the benefits of replacing two flights with one flight, e.g. what SQ did on their ZRH-route by replacing two T7-flights with one A 380-flight?

[Edited 2014-02-03 10:52:43]
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:30 pm

Good analysis.And yes it does all come down to whether the -900 can exist in the near future. Sadly I believe the answer is a resounding NO.
There is no cargo market for a new build 380,nor is their enough market for an expensive -900 stretch.
This is why the new interior packging of the plane is/ will be such a breakthrough. Thie link given on Leeham is the key.

http://oi57.tinypic.com/34nllde.jpg

With the accurate and telling comment.

"This would make it around 588 seats with 11-abreast Y on the main deck."

I think that this is the way it will go - and still retain 18" seats.

If they do go for this NEO route I wonder whether they would announce both (330 and 380 NEO's ) together?

They will be developed to a very similar timeframe. They will have identical developments.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:33 pm

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 5):
A recent article in AviationWeek quoted unnamed Airbus sources that a re-engined A380 would be a particularly difficult (and hence expensive) engineering challenge.

The recent AviationWeek article quoting unnamed Airbus sources was about an Airbus ‘Mega-Twin’ concept. I think that the Airbus 'Mega-Twin' concept is much more outlandish than re-engining the A380, and wouldn't fully trust that particular article.
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:34 pm

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 8):
For a proper analysis, shouldn't they consider the benefits of replacing two flights with one flight, e.g. what SQ did on their SQ-route by replacing two T7-flights with one A 380-flight?

Yes thousands of variables are involved but the fuel burn is a very important factor to start with.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:24 pm

Improving like they have improved the A330 means that its capabilities are much better in 20 years time!  

With the current Airbus future plans already been discussed in several threads here on the A.net, I find this thread the least interesting, a possible A330NEO or a A360 gives much more ado I think. Also against its direct competitors: the 788/789 and the B779X.

Nevertheless, in terms of fuel savings, does the thread mention any figures (goals)?

Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
The 777-9's extra 51 seats over the 777-300ER

How the hell can you squeeze 5 more rows in the 779X? Is it that much longer than the 77W?
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:29 pm

Quoting SASMD82 (Reply 12):
How the hell can you squeeze 5 more rows in the 779X? Is it that much longer than the 77W?

9-abreast vs 10-abreast
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:51 pm

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 5):
Given the poor sales prospects for the A380 (both ceo and likely neo), and the fact that the A380 program is still far from breakeven, any major A380 improvements are unlikely.

I think it is more expensive to let the $15 Billion program die. Investing a couple more Billion so the program stays relevant and has a chance at returning a profit could be a better move then not doing anything and losing all non-EK orders.

I see this en-engine idea as absolutely critical because it is clear that it is a step behind on fuel burn and that won't keep it relevant in the 2020s. I don't think the market is ready for the A389 and more importantly anyone interested in a possible A389 is going to order the A388 if its not on offer.

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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:59 pm

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 5):
and the fact that the A380 program is still far from breakeven
Quoting tortugamon (Reply 14):
I think it is more expensive to let the $15 Billion program die

Forget about development costs, those have been written off. The production itself will become profitable in 2015 (next year) so this can't be an argument anymore. And the A380 is here anyway so it's all about going forward. Therefore, further investments will be made.

Boeing sold less than 200 747-100 aircraft before moving to the next upgrade (747-200). We should see a similar path with the A380.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:18 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 6):
While both RR and GE are said to want exclusivity on offering a new engine option for the A330 family, if that engine could also be adapted to the A380 with minimal effort, that would give Airbus leverage to deny such exclusivity while still providing a sufficient market to convince both OEMs to commit.

The one issue for GE is that on the A380 they share the GP7200 engine with P&W via the Engine Alliance consortium and GE and/or Airbus would likely need to buy PW out of the program. With Emirates Airline accounting for almost two-thirds of the GP7200 order book and most of the rest of the GP7200 operators also GE customers, this may not be too much of an issue for the customers if the A380neo has a GE option as opposed to an EA option.



Quoting yyz717 (Reply 5):

GE CANNOT field an engine for the A380 because of it's Exclusivity aggreement with Boeing on the 777 and the 747.
That's why they went INTO a JV with Pratt for the GP7200. Rolls has a free hand to do as they please.
But with Rolls and the 3 spool engine design you're going to incur more weight and there's nothing you can do about it
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:36 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 14):
Quoting yyz717 (Reply 5):
Given the poor sales prospects for the A380 (both ceo and likely neo), and the fact that the A380 program is still far from breakeven, any major A380 improvements are unlikely.

I think it is more expensive to let the $15 Billion program die. Investing a couple more Billion so the program stays relevant and has a chance at returning a profit could be a better move then not doing anything and losing all non-EK orders.

It is a dilemma; but the $15 billion (or whatever it was) has already been spent. It comes down to whether the re-engining costs can be recovered by enough additional sales that would not be sold without it. That is the break-even point; additional sales will make it profitable, and it also applies to any other improvement, such as the -900. If the answer is no, then there is no point in doing it. If the answer is yes, then it makes sense. But if I were running Airbus I would want to be sure that the sales were there before committing to it. Their market assessments were a tad optimistic before launching the A380; Boeing's were better. They should not make the same mistake again.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:47 pm

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 16):
GE CANNOT field an engine for the A380 because of it's Exclusivity aggreement with Boeing on the 777 and the 747.
That's why they went INTO a JV with Pratt for the GP7200. Rolls has a free hand to do as they please.
But with Rolls and the 3 spool engine design you're going to incur more weight and there's nothing you can do about it

First I heard of that, all I thought was in place was a 20 year contract for the GE90-115 in the 777-200LR/300ER.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:48 pm

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 16):
GE CANNOT field an engine for the A380 because of it's Exclusivity aggreement with Boeing on the 777 and the 747.

Sure they can, you are mixing things up. Other engine makers are not allowed to offer an engine for the 77W (and 748?), but GE can sell their engines to whoever they want.

[Edited 2014-02-03 12:50:02]
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:49 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 17):
Their market assessments were a tad optimistic before launching the A380; Boeing's were better. They should not make the same mistake again

They were planning on 250 orders for the program to breakeven. They are standing at 304 orders currently. Had things not gone pear-shaped , no-one would be even thinking it to be optimistic and commenting on the program profitability. Not forgetting some customers may take up options or replace early models with later models, so it's not unreasonable to think of at least 400 order will be accrued in it's lifetime with no new customers for it.
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:58 pm

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 16):
But with Rolls and the 3 spool engine design you're going to incur more weight and there's nothing you can do about it

Trent 1000 6096 kg ---- GEnx-1b 6126 kg
Trent 970 6271 kg ----- GP7270 6718 kg

It looks like the three spool engines from RR are rather lighter than the two spool engines from GE according to Leeham.
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:25 pm

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 15):
Forget about development costs, those have been written off.

People take the concept of sunk costs a little too far. Yes it is critical not to make decisions about the future based on expenses in the past. I think most of us get that. However, you can't appear to be destroyer of capital either because it will hurt your ability to raise funds in the future. It does matter.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 17):
But if I were running Airbus I would want to be sure that the sales were there before committing to it.

No doubt. And certainly the will be very motivated to keep the costs of the change to a minimum. I believe that if they can regain the crown of lowest fuel burn then airlines will not ignore it. If the Doric order comes through that will be 70 orders for airplanes that will burn more fuel per m2 of cabin area then no fewer than three twin engine aircraft by the time those orders are delivered. If airlines are kinda interested in it when it isn't efficient, I think more will take notice when it becomes the most efficient again. But you're right, they have to know the market before they make the investment.

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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:31 pm

Another quote from that article:

Quote:
The 787 engines are some 250kg lighter then the lightest A380 engine (T1000) and as they have less fan diameter their nacelles will be slightly smaller and lighter.

Interesting. By reading a.net for more than one decade I somehow thought a more efficient engine will automatically have to have a larger diameter a la A 32XNEO or 737MAX. Seems that it's not that simple anymore...
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:31 pm

Quoting Heavierthanair (Reply 4):
With the A 380 stretch being moved out into the more distant future, a new engine for the present A 380 does not have to cover that application

In truth, if the fuel burn improvement is 10% or so, through a combination of improved SFC and wing treatments, an MTOW increase shouldn't be necessary for an A380 stretch. The current 575 tonne plane would end up being a good 9 000Nm airframe

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 8):
For a proper analysis, shouldn't they consider the benefits of replacing two flights with one flight, e.g. what SQ did on their ZRH-route by replacing two T7-flights with one A 380-flight?

I think the thing that's really missing is the total cost of ownership, as one has to own, or lease the plane, in order to operate it. Most of those costs play to the A380

Quoting parapente (Reply 9):
I think that this is the way it will go - and still retain 18" seats.

I think there's a bit of confusion here. There's no way I can see that an A380 can retain 18" seats 11-across. What it can do is have the section between doors 2 and 4 at 11-across with 17" seats, and the remainder of the maindeck at 10-across

We shouldn't forget, though, that the A380 can easily accommodate 560-570 seats (another 9%-10%) still in a 10-abreast 3-class configuration that is still comparable to, or better than those other frames on an area per seat basis.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 14):
I don't think the market is ready for the A389 and more importantly anyone interested in a possible A389 is going to order the A388 if its not on offer.

Unless the economics of the A380-800 don't work vs the competiton, but those of the A389 do.

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 15):
Forget about development costs, those have been written off.

I think that was his point

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 21):
It looks like the three spool engines from RR are rather lighter than the two spool engines from GE according to Leeham.

Such "heavy" irony  

Rgds
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:34 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 22):
However, you can't appear to be destroyer of capital either because it will hurt your ability to raise funds in the future. It does matter.

I'm not suggesting they should spend another $10 billion on the program, I'm just saying they should move forward with updates.

[Edited 2014-02-03 13:36:26]
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:57 pm

What was the original impetus for doing all-new turbofans for the A380, anyhow? For such a low-volume program, a closer derivative to existing engines surely would have made more sense. Just look at the 747-8. GE obviously has a high degree of synergy between that program and that of the 787's GEnx.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:59 pm

Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
There has been some discussion of this article already in the A380 production thread

It also came up in the A330neo thread. Here's what I wrote:

Quote:

Not particularly enlightening with respect to this topic, other than to point out that if Airbus does an A330neo it will do so before it does an A380neo. IMHO it's A380neo analysis is undermined by the A380 'inconvenient truth' that it has no competition and thus there is no incentive for Airbus to put more resources into it whilst it has plenty of other places to be putting resources into. The article itself underlines this by pointing out that EK has already put in its 'refresh' order for 50 frames.

Some suggest EK's lack of a corresponding engine order might be one way to influence a new engine, and others suggest that there may be improved performance specifications in the order that force Airbus to an improved engine.

I hope by now all a.net member have good popcorn supplies!

Quoting Heavierthanair (Reply 4):
With the A 380 stretch being moved out into the more distant future

Interesting - the last I recall was:

Better Chances For The A380-900 (by Bogi Aug 31 2013 in Civil Aviation)

So is there something more recent?
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:59 pm

Quoting astuteman (Reply 24):
I think there's a bit of confusion here. There's no way I can see that an A380 can retain 18" seats 11-across.

On the contrary, both EK and Doric said it can be done. Doric explained Airbus can upper the floor a bit.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:04 pm

Quoting david_itl (Reply 20):

They were planning on 250 orders for the program to breakeven.

But they were planning on selling many more than they actually did. Well-run companies do not embark on $15 billion programs with the intention of only breaking even.

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 23):
Seems that it's not that simple anymore...

It never was, actually. Fan diameter is but one factor in efficiency. There is an optimum diameter; you can go too large and hurt yourself.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:10 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 17):
Their market assessments were a tad optimistic before launching the A380; Boeing's were better. They should not make the same mistake again.

I don't think those market assessments foresaw a 400+ seat 777-9X with fuel burn on par with an A380.
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:34 pm

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 15):
Forget about development costs, those have been written off.
Quoting tortugamon (Reply 22):
People take the concept of sunk costs a little too far.

The money may have been written off the program, but their is still a cost. For example if you borrow money, as the result of writing of losses on the program,
you still have the write off, (debt), and you still have the cost (interest) and at some stage you have to come up with the written off capital (repay debt)
and then their is the lost opportunity that the write off could have been put to eg a rnew aircraft in the 250 seat category or a direct 777 competitor.

The main advantage of writing off is that you don't have to reflect the write off in higher selling price, to recover it, however as mentioned above, you do have to recover it, in the future.

Ruscoe
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:37 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 29):
But they were planning on selling many more than they actually did. Well-run companies do not embark on $15 billion programs with the intention of only breaking even.

So what do you call the 54 orders on top of the 250 to breakeven... loss leaders? If 250 orders mean $15bn breakeven, then getting 50 more = $3bn extra revenue and I doubt it would cost that much to manufacture them. Factor in no delays then we'd be well past 122 in service and 304 ordered so far. Why use the past tense did when discussing it? It's still on sale. It's still getting orders. It's only just beginning its development.
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:52 pm

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 16):
GE CANNOT field an engine for the A380 because of it's Exclusivity aggreement with Boeing on the 777 and the 747.

That's why they went INTO a JV with Pratt for the GP7200.

 no 


The Engine Alliance JV was formed in August of 1996 to provide an engine - the GP7200 - for the Boeing 747-500X and 747-600X. When those programs were cancelled in 1997 due to the Asian Financial Crisis of that same year, EA re-designed the engine for the Airbus A3XX, which Airbus had started formal work on in 1994. EA also offered an engine - the GP7100 - for the Boeing 747 X and Boeing 767-400ERX programs, but both were canceled by Boeing.

GE and Boeing did not sign their exclusivity agreement on the 777-200X and 777-300X until late 1999 - three years after Engine Alliance was formed. GE and Boeing did not sign their exclusivity agreement on the 747-8 until 2005 - almost a decade after Engine Alliance was formed.

And has been stated time and time again, those exclusivity agreements only apply to Boeing products, not Airbus products. You can be absolutely sure that if Boeing tried to force GE into an agreement where they could not provide an engine for an Airbus product the European Union would have contested it on anti-trust grounds.

In fact, it is the EU that is the one that required Engine Alliance to only offer the GP7000 family on a four-engine airframe (if EA had gone forward with the GP7100 on the Boeing 767-400ERX, the EU could have moved to attempt to block it).



Quoting Ruscoe (Reply 31):
The money may have been written off the program, but their is still a cost.

But Airbus absorbed that cost and remained solvent doing so. As such, it's impact is no longer a threat to Airbus' existence (something many on this forum seem to not understand). It also didn't prevent Airbus from launching a new widebody family - the A350 - nor did it prevent Airbus from re-engining the A320 to extend it's sales life by decades.

The real metric now for the A380 program is the RoI of future investment, not past. If Airbus can spend a billion updating the A380 and secure more than a billion in revenue, those upgrades are worth considering. The higher the revenue generated compared to the cost, the more worth considering those upgrades are.

[Edited 2014-02-03 15:05:27]
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:17 pm

Quoting N328KF (Reply 26):

What was the original impetus for doing all-new turbofans for the A380, anyhow? For such a low-volume program, a closer derivative to existing engines surely would have made more sense. Just look at the 747-8. GE obviously has a high degree of synergy between that program and that of the 787's GEnx.

I think that is more a problem of naming conventions. Every fan size of the Trent gets a new name, but you have same synergy between a Trent 700, 900 and 1000 etc, all variations and or further developments off the same design. With technology moving between the different engines.
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:29 pm

Quoting astuteman (Reply 24):
There's no way I can see that an A380 can retain 18" seats 11-across.

I was skeptical too. Karel did a good analysis that convinced me. It wasn't 100% of the plane and it involved raising the floor but it was possible.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 24):
Unless the economics of the A380-800 don't work vs the competition, but those of the A389 do.

I wonder how many routes in an airline's network allow for 650 seats to work yet 525 seats with slightly higher seat costs don't work. I don't hear too many airlines pushing for more seats but they do want the better economics so I see them focusing on the current size.

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 25):
I'm just saying they should move forward with updates.

I think so too. As soon as they know they can beat the 779 economics I would start calling customers and seeing what they think.

Quoting ytz (Reply 30):
I don't think those market assessments foresaw a 400+ seat 777-9X with fuel burn on par with an A380.

But then again when they launched the A380 they were looking out 20 years (primarily) and the 779 still wouldn't exist within 20 years of the A380 launch (2000).

tortugamon
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:34 pm

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 23):
Another quote from that article:

Quote:
The 787 engines are some 250kg lighter then the lightest A380 engine (T1000) and as they have less fan diameter their nacelles will be slightly smaller and lighter.

Interesting. By reading a.net for more than one decade I somehow thought a more efficient engine will automatically have to have a larger diameter a la A 32XNEO or 737MAX. Seems that it's not that simple anymore...

It is more the throughput of the fan, if you have a look at the Trent 1000-Ten, they changed the blades of the fan, but they also reduced the diameter of the rotor holding the blades increasing in that way the area and throughput.
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:41 pm

Quoting N328KF (Reply 26):
Just look at the 747-8. GE obviously has a high degree of synergy between that program and that of the 787's GEnx.

Not as much as GE would have liked.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 29):
But they were planning on selling many more than they actually did. Well-run companies do not embark on $15 billion programs with the intention of only breaking even.

This actually had me laughing for a while, we have had Boeing for the last few years saying that the 787 is the way of the future, point to point, no one needs a 400+ seat aircraft hub to hib, reduce market out look etc. Needless to say, we had so many people on here lacking the ability to look at these comment objectively, and flat out saying Airbus and the A380 program are going to fail, the market does not want them. Basically following the Boeing PR hook line and sinker.

So what does Boeing do, go and develop not one, but two new 400+ seat aircraft, and I also wager to see an increase in the next market outlook for 400+ seat aircraft.

Quoting ytz (Reply 30):
I don't think those market assessments foresaw a 400+ seat 777-9X with fuel burn on par with an A380.

The 777-9X will not see 400+ seats in 3 or 4 class airline service unless configured for short/medium haul.

Quoting Ruscoe (Reply 31):
The money may have been written off the program,

I don't like using "written off", the money has been expended, they have certified an aircraft, built factories etc. They have something to show for it.

If you add the cost to Boeing to develop the 747-8 and 777X, compared to the A380 (not including ground infer-structure), I think they would come out fairly even.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:46 pm

Quoting Ruscoe (Reply 31):
The money may have been written off the program, but their is still a cost. For example if you borrow money, as the result of writing of losses on the program,
you still have the write off, (debt), and you still have the cost (interest) and at some stage you have to come up with the written off capital (repay debt)
and then their is the lost opportunity that the write off could have been put to eg a rnew aircraft in the 250 seat category or a direct 777 competitor.

The main advantage of writing off is that you don't have to reflect the write off in higher selling price, to recover it, however as mentioned above, you do have to recover it, in the future.

Ruscoe

That is a misconception. If you write of costs you take the hit at the time you do it, not in the future. You either show lower profits or even a loss. If you than in the future recover some of the write off it goes straight to profits.
Airbus has already taken the hit, written off the cost of the development and introduction of the A380. There is no mountain of depth pushed to the future. In 2015 when the production of the A380 frames will cost less than the sales price, break even and past it, it will go straight to profits, very different to the program accounting in the USA.
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:02 am

Quoting ytz (Reply 30):
I don't think those market assessments foresaw a 400+ seat 777-9X with fuel burn on par with an A380.

A380 sales have never met Airbus expectations, long before the 777X came along. I am sure they had figured on at least twice as many sales by now as they have had.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:03 am

These two statements seem to be inconsistent.

Quoting zeke (Reply 37):
So what does Boeing do, go and develop not one, but two new 400+ seat aircraft
Quoting zeke (Reply 37):
The 777-9X will not see 400+ seats in 3 or 4 class airline service unless configured for short/medium haul.

And I don't see how it's related to developing or not developing a 500+ seat airplane.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:20 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 37):
The 777-9X will not see 400+ seats in 3 or 4 class airline service unless configured for short/medium haul.

I wouldn't be so sure. I could see EK adding three rows of Y versus their 77Ws and I believe the aft contour will be changed to allow for 10 abreast instead of 8 which would give them 400 seats even before we talk about the elimination of the fifth class A exit door. AF already seats 383 in theirs so 400 doesn't seem out of the question there.

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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:29 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 37):
Basically following the Boeing PR hook line and sinker.

Which is different than following yours and the Airbus propaganda how?
I don't understand why you constantly bash everything Boeing and anything positive. It is getting so old and pathetic. Both manufacturers do the same thing, and people here are clever enough to understand this, and there is "manufacturing" and "marketing'.

Quoting zeke (Reply 7):
Would that be the same AviationWeek that had unnamed sources during the KC-X campaign that basically said the same about the A330MRTT, and yet it is now in service with Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Air Force, United Arab Emirates Air Force, and Royal Saudi Air Force. The USAF is still years away from a new tanker being in service.

Or would that be the AviationWeek that reported how well the 787 is tracking on schedule, performance, and weight ?


Selective quoting, I am sure AV Week have said positive things about Airbus products, so why bring only the reports that suit your agenda?
How does this add to the post?
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:21 am

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 39):
A380 sales have never met Airbus expectations, long before the 777X came along. I am sure they had figured on at least twice as many sales by now as they have had.

I do not recall reading of any planned ramp up of production to suggest they expected higher demand, they have several years of production backlog. I think they are every happy with they way things are ticking along.

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 40):
These two statements seem to be inconsistent.

The inconstancy is with the way the Boeing CMO works, and how aircraft are configured in the real world. The 747-8i and 777-9X are both marketed with 400+ seats. The Boeing CMO has 400 seats as the changeover from their Twin-Aisle 230-399 Seats to their Large 400+ seats. They have been saying for a while now that market is shrinking, and trying to put the market segment they have products in (i.e. 787/777).

Now for a market which they are saying has little demand they are throwing two "new" products in, the 747-8i and 777-9X.

The 300ER in real world is operating 10 around 355 seats. Boeing marketing the 777-9X as 407 seats, I do not see them getting that many in real airline configurations unless 2 class regional. The 777-300ER is already marketed as a 479 seat 2 class regional aircraft, and 380 seat 10 abreast Y long haul.

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 40):
And I don't see how it's related to developing or not developing a 500+ seat airplane.

That is the same market segment, Boeing defined it as 400 seat.

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a357/thezeke/anet/Boeingandourcompetition_zpsd28327b6.png

The irony is they have been saying there is little demand in that segment, however they are placing two products into it.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 41):
I wouldn't be so sure. I could see EK adding three rows of Y versus their 77Ws and I believe the aft contour will be changed to allow for 10 abreast instead of 8

-300 is already marketed with 9 across in the taper, 386 seats, 4 rows in the taper.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 41):
AF already seats 383 in theirs so 400 doesn't seem out of the question there.

That is a 2 class medium haul (J/Y+/Y), they also have a configuration that is well over 400 seats today. Boeing already markets this as 777-300/-300ER 44 first-class seats 435 standard-economy seats. I was talking about the long haul configuration that the 407 seats is based upon.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:53 am

While not as bullish as Airbus on the 20 year prospects of 400+ seat aircraft, they have not exactly been bears, either.

Looking at the projections in both Boeing's and Airbus' 20 year market outlooks between 2000 and 2013, Boeing suggested an average of 900 units to 1200 units for Airbus.
 
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:55 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 43):
They have been saying for a while now that market is shrinking, and trying to put the market segment they have products in (i.e. 787/777).

It sounds like you are saying that they create products for another reason then where they think the market is going. Some might say that they create the product that fits with their vision of where the market is, instead of making the market forecast fit where they are producing the product.

Boeing has an aircraft at every 15% from 240-460 seats; not sure why its odd for them to have two offerings in this space.

Quoting zeke (Reply 43):
That is a 2 class medium haul (J/Y+/Y), they also have a configuration that is well over 400 seats today. Boeing already markets this as 777-300/-300ER 44 first-class seats 435 standard-economy seats. I was talking about the long haul configuration that the 407 seats is based upon.

Ok, if they had a true 3-class as you see it I would expect that to have over 400 seats. The 779 is going to be wider so I would expect EK to at least go to 9 abreast in the back rows (they go to 8 abreast in final 4 rows now) plus the now-useful row because of the door change. I definitely see 400 seat 779s in EK's future.

Does anyone really doubt that if Airbus was told in 2000 that they would have sold what they have sold by 2014 that they wouldn't have launched the A380 as it currently exists? In hindsight two twins that are larger than the 77W would have done very well.

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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:15 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 44):

While not as bullish as Airbus on the 20 year prospects of 400+ seat aircraft, they have not exactly been bears, either.

Looking at the projections in both Boeing's and Airbus' 20 year market outlooks between 2000 and 2013, Boeing suggested an average of 900 units to 1200 units for Airbus.

That is a very tight market to throw two new products into, considering Boeing's current CMO is for only 760 aircraft which 3 types are competing. They are the numbers they launched the new aircraft into. If the average is indeed 900 over the past 13 years, it means they are predicting a down trend.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:19 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 46):
That is a very tight market to throw two new products into, considering Boeing's current CMO is for only 760 aircraft which 3 types are competing. They are the numbers they launched the new aircraft into. If the average is indeed 900 over the past 13 years, it means they are predicting a down trend.

They are including the 779 in the medium widebody segment

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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:46 am

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 22):
I believe that if they can regain the crown of lowest fuel burn then airlines will not ignore it.

I suppose, but it also doesn't mean they will embrace it in large numbers. The math in the report is all per seat, and the seat count went up to 560 for the A380neo16 to reach the same fuel cost per seat mile as the 395 seat 777-9X. Works out OK for EK, but not too many others.
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RE: Leeham.net Discusses Possible A380 Improvements

Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:47 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 37):
If you add the cost to Boeing to develop the 747-8 and 777X, compared to the A380 (not including ground infer-structure), I think they would come out fairly even.

Only if you still believe the A380 program cost just $15 Billion... (years of delay (continued to this day), wing cracks and much lower production rates then planned).

Just a few posts up thread; 250 to break even... Really!

Quoting david_itl (Reply 32):
So what do you call the 54 orders on top of the 250 to break-even... loss leaders? If 250 orders mean $15bn breakeven, then getting 50 more = $3bn extra revenue and I doubt it would cost that much to manufacture them.

These are the kind of things that even minded people do not understand about a-net fans? Oh well...
harder than woodpecker lips...

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