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Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:06 pm

Please continue the discussion here.

Flightglobal Article Pours Cold Water On A380NEO (by travelhound Jul 8 2015 in Civil Aviation)

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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:25 pm

It's crazy there is a part 2 to this thread. I mean, the article basically said that RR would need to see a business case for the engine before building it. That's true for EVERY program...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:38 pm

Reposting my last response in the earlier thread...

Quote:
Quoting zckls04 (Reply 263):
your figures suggest that optimization came at somewhere around a 15%+ efficiency penalty. I am not saying that's impossible, but I find it hard to believe that Airbus would have shot themselves in the foot quite that badly.

The combination of -900 optimization and the 80m box constraint probably caused a 20% fuel burn penalty versus an ideal -800. It's critical to understand that these problems work together - span is how planes deal with weight; the A380 couldn't do so. Of all planes to build for stretching, A380 was the least ideal.

-A 2004 study found that with same wing area and thrust, a folding wing would have save 10.3% fuel burn. http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.2004-699. Why didn't Airbus do it? Probably because it only saved 2.4% in DOC but added risk - fuel was cheaper back then. The weight-gain crisis came late in the program as well, probably too late to completely redo the wing.

-The optimization problem becomes even more severe when stuck within the 80m box. Designers usually ameliorate weight gain by increasing span - induced drag or Di ~ (Lift^2)/(Span^2). When you can't increase span you're just eating Di that rises quadratically with the necessary lift. For most modern airliners, Di is ~1/3 of total drag. For the A380 it's 55%. That is a massive, massive penalty.

-Where is the extra weight from -900 optimization? Wing and engines to start. A380 engines have low thrust/drag because built for massive thrust growth. Wing weight is usually ~60% dependent on area. Bigger wing and engines means bigger empennage, which is 10% of empty weight typically. Bigger wing, engines, and empennage means heavier landing gear. Taken together these components are 60-70% of empty weight. And we haven't mentioned increased structural loads on fuselage yet. Remember the truly scary thing:

-each pound of weight gain causes pounds of weight gain elsewhere
-for span-constrained A380, each pound of weight gain causes quadratic rise in induced drag
-if the suboptimal components were 15% heavier than necessary, they added ~20% to induced drag beyond the 80m box penalty
-the bigger wing/engines/empennage also add parasitic drag

That is a terrifying loop to be in, no wonder the A380 is heavier per seat than everyone else. Credit to Airbus engineers for managing to make the plane as efficient as it is given their task.

In conclusion I'd say 20% fuel burn penalty from combo of 80m box constraint and -900 optimization is conservative. It's spilled milk now but I wonder how well a 20% more fuel efficient CEO would have sold over the last decade? It also would have had lower maintenance cost from smaller frame and engines, lower fees for lower weights, lower capital/production cost. I bet it would have done pretty well.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:40 pm

Quoting Matt6461,reply=265 previous thread:
The combination of -900 optimization
Quoting Matt6461,reply=265 previous thread:
Where is the extra weight from -900 optimization?

But who says that the A380 was optimized for the -900? As far as I can tell, this is purely an assumption, an erroneous one IMO.

The current structure was clearly designed to suit a number of different potential A380 models, so it is compromised for all of them. But the designers will also have designed in variations to the core structure to suit each model, to reduce the impact of the core compromises on each model. To assume that the structure is -900 optimized and, therefore, the -800 takes the entire hit of having to make do with a -900 structure is clearly disingenuous at best.

Quoting Matt6461,reply=265 previous thread:
A380 engines have low thrust/drag because built for massive thrust growth

In your opinion. Or do you actually have a reliable source? Even for a stretched A380, the required additional thrust would have been relatively modest. "massive" amounts of additional thrust would not have been required.

Quoting Matt6461,reply=265 previous thread:
no wonder the A380 is heavier per seat than everyone else

Not if you compare it at similar seating densities, it isn't.

Quoting Matt6461,reply=265 previous thread:
In conclusion I'd say 20% fuel burn penalty from combo of 80m box constraint and -900 optimization is conservative.

And I'm sure many other people, especially those in possession of real-world data, would say it is not even close to half of that.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:57 pm

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 2):
The optimization problem becomes even more severe when stuck within the 80m box.

So you think a 90 or 100 meter wingspan box would be better? The A380 has been partially limited in sales because of how few airports can handle operations with an 80 meter wingspan aircraft.

Folding wingtips do not solve the problem of runway to taxiway clearance, nor what can be done with a plane if the folding wingtips malfunction.


Have a great day,
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:34 pm

Quoting speedbored (Reply 3):
But who says that the A380 was optimized for the -900? As far as I can tell, this is purely an assumption, an erroneous one IMO.

(1) The wing loading compared to most other aircraft is low
(2) The fact that the MLG is good for ~640t though the A388 MTOW is 575t
(3) The fact that the wing can handle ~650t thought the A388 MTOW is 575t
(4) And how about it just looks stubby like a 762, A332, 788, 77L, etc. Its the shrink model.

A couple working models around here actually have the A389 flying just as far as the A388 if not further because of the optimization for the larger size as well as the freighter model. In the A380 Airbus video during launch I remember a wife of one of the engineers commenting on how big the wing was relative to the fuse. I thought that was pretty interesting.

Time for it to be optimized I think. Whatever way they do it. A stretch would help.

tortugamon
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:55 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 5):
(3) The fact that the wing can handle ~650t thought the A388 MTOW is 575t

I thought their were planed reinforced wings for the freighter and I assume for the -900 too.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:05 pm

Last post didn't finish...

Just to provide some support for contentions in my last post:

-Airbus has definitively stated that -800's huge wing AREA is meant for -900. There is absolutely no doubt about this. From the lead designer of the A380:

Quote:
“The wings are in fact designed for a much larger airplane, so we have the capability of going to a bigger fuselage – we can stretch the fuselage very easily.”
http://www.ausbt.com.au/supersizing-...1-000-seat-airbus-a380-due-by-2020
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:08 pm

-RR certified the Trent 900 for up to 84k lbs-T. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolls-Royce_Trent_900 Its website touts the "the growth capability embedded in the engine, should further aircraft development be required." http://www.rolls-royce.com/customers...ge-engines/trent-900.aspx#overview

-GP7200 is actually heavier than T900. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engine_Alliance_GP7000

The -800's engine are clearly meant to support a much bigger plane.

Links to the EASA/FAA type certificates are in the wikipedia articles. Forum was giving me trouble about posting them here for some reason.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:09 pm

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 4):
So you think a 90 or 100 meter wingspan box would be better?

Probably 88-90m, ~750m2 would have been better. That wing could probably have been lighter, in addition to being more aerodynamically efficient.

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 4):
Folding wingtips do not solve the problem of runway to taxiway clearance, nor what can be done with a plane if the folding wingtips malfunction.

Wingtips malfunction isn't going to be a problem for 777X. I don't know what technology would have been available in 2005. In any event, I'm worried more about what A should do now, not what it should have done then...

Runway to taxi clearance I just don't see as a big issue. I'm talking ~14 feet on either side of the airplane, and most runways have ample margin for that. If needed, the wings could unfold only once the takeoff run start point was reached. That slows runway ops but the reduction in induced drag, and lower resulting separation distances, would more than compensate. Even were the clearance problem insuperable, an 80m wing with less area and weight would still have greatly benefited the -800.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 6):
I thought their were planed reinforced wings for the freighter and I assume for the -900 too.

Yes there were. Reinforcement affects bending weight - typically 40% of wing weight. Area weight is area weight. The -800's wing is not quite as heavy as would be the -900's, but heavier than an optimized -800's would be.

[Edited 2015-07-14 16:11:37]
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:21 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 5):
(2) The fact that the MLG is good for ~640t though the A388 MTOW is 575t

640t is for -900 right? Airbus included space for a fifth rolling truck in the -800 design, meant for the -900 and, I believe, the freighter. This explains the unconventional arrangement of -800's MLG - another thing a maximally aggressive A380X could address. The -800 has a ton of very heavy flat pressure bulkheads around the narrowed cargo compartment as a result of the 5th-truck design requirement.

But regardless, the MLG is designed for a plane that is heavier than it should have been - both in terms of fuel lifted at MTOW (compromised aerodynamics) and structure (excessive wing, propulsion, and empennage weight). An -800 optimized without -900 family would have had lighter MLG.

Sorry for the serial posts guys. One of the links I was trying to post earlier was forcing an error message and it made me break this up into several pieces.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:27 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 5):
(3) The fact that the wing can handle ~650t thought the A388 MTOW is 575t

Not exactly. The wing can be modified to handle 650t.
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:41 pm

[

Quoting matt6461 (Reply 10):
Wingtips malfunction isn't going to be a problem for 777X. I don't know what technology would have been available in 2005. In any event, I'm worried more about what A should do now, not what it should have done then...

Runway to taxi clearance I just don't see as a big issue. I'm talking ~14 feet on either side of the airplane, and most runways have ample margin for that. If needed, the wings could unfold only once the takeoff run start point was reached. That slows runway ops but the reduction in induced drag, and lower resulting separation distances, would more than compensate.

Sorry, but 1) the 77X wingspan is estimated to be 71.3 meters (that may change a bit). That is a lot different than about 90 meters; and well within the clearance of many airports to handle without modifications.

I think you do not understand the concern or why the A380 was limited to 80 meter wings in the first place (79.8 meters in final design). Airbus knew that the ideal wingspan was about 90 meters; but, also knew that to operate in most major airports that they would have to limit wingspan to 80 meters. You just cannot relocate taxiways, etc. at most airports to support a 90 meter wing for routine operations. In most major airports there are other aircraft on those taxiways during takeoff and landing - and 90 meter wings represent a collision threat.

Even at 80 meters a number of airports had to spend multi-millions relocating taxiways to allow for the A380. No one foresees that happening to allow a 90 meter wing aircraft for routine passenger service.

I will not argue that the A380 was essentially optimized for the 900; or that it is heavy for the 800. Yes, you could cut a fair amount of weight; which I suspect will be very pricey. But, I think you better stick with the 80 meter wings. Otherwise you have greatly restricted the sales potential due to the limited number of airports which it could operate out of in routine service (Yes, in a pinch the airport can shut the taxiways down and clear the field - massive disruption for most airports). If you doubt this - do some research on which airports can routinely handle a 90 meter wingspan (heck, even research 80 meters and I think you will be surprised).


Have a great day,
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:52 pm

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 13):
Even at 80 meters a number of airports had to spend multi-millions relocating taxiways to allow for the A380. No one foresees that happening to allow a 90 meter wing aircraft for routine passenger service.

A380X could stay Code F on taxiways, just as 777X will stay Code E. http://www.boeing.com/assets/pdf/com...al/airports/acaps/777Xbrochure.pdf Only once takeoff run starts would it become F+ or G, and when wingtip retraction fails. Plus Boeing expects ICAO to reduce taxiway separation E-E to accommodate the 777X. Airbus could do the same with A380X on F-E separation, presumably.

But even if none of the foregoing is true, my A380X would only suffer a ~2% fuel burn penalty if it used a smaller, lighter 80m wing with split-scimitar winglets. See the above for brochure for Boeing's expectation of 3% delta on 777X versus a winglet. My argument isn't just about span. A smaller (area-wise), lighter wing would have been and would be a huge benefit to the -800.

Plus the A380CEO already slows airports with its massive wake separation requirements. Airbus didn't expect this to be so dramatically true. An A380X would reduce induced drag - thus separation requirements - by ~50% at MTOW, so from an airport ops perspective having to space on the ground might be outweighed by less spacing in the air. I'm not highly knowledgable on this aspect, I'll admit. But to repeat an A380NWO wouldn't need folding wings; it would just need a much lighter, smaller wing. Any insight into why my analogy to the 777X doesn't hold would be appreciated.

[Edited 2015-07-14 16:57:06]

[Edited 2015-07-14 16:59:58]
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:10 am

Quoting matt6461 (Reply 11):
640t is for -900 right? Airbus included space for a fifth rolling truck in the -800 design, meant for the -900 and, I believe, the freighter.

The current undercarriage arrangement should be fine as-is, with no need for an additional truck.

The A380-800F would have have an MTOW of 590,000kg and the current landing gear was tested at an MTOW of 596,500kg and an MLW of 590,000kg. The MERTO was completed at 575,000kg.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:33 am

Quoting matt6461 (Reply 11):
640t is for -900 right? Airbus included space for a fifth rolling truck in the -800 design, meant for the -900 and, I believe, the freighter.

That is the way I understand it. I think there were some posts on here about a year ago that led us to believe that the MLG was fine as is. I am not sure if there was a formal source on it. With the way they designed everything else to work for the A389 its not really much of a surprise really.

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 12):
Not exactly. The wing can be modified to handle 650t.

I understand that the modifications are relatively small in nature and don't require a tremendous re-work.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 15):
The current undercarriage arrangement should be fine as-is, with no need for an additional truck

They certainly did plan for the future. Now if only the A380 program can get itself there.

tortugamon
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:33 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 15):
he current undercarriage arrangement should be fine as-is, with no need for an additional truck.

Thanks I wasn't sure about the -F. That's further support for an aggressive makeover that removes even more weight in the MLG. Freighter market isn't worth pursuing, especially for a double decker (freighters are rarely volume-limited). Might as well have gear sized to your actual plane.

I bet the -800's landing gear is taller than necessary to accommodate the -900. Adding the fifth truck gives you adequate psi on the runway but the -900's longer fuselage would have required taller gear most likely.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:37 am

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 16):
They certainly did plan for the future. Now if only the A380 program can get itself there.

They seem to have planned for the immediate future. One in which aerodynamics and engine technologies hadn't eased the requirements for a stretch and -F. IIRC they expected to launch the -900 and certainly the -F not long after -800's EIS.

But remember that as aerodynamics and engine tech improves, MTOW's fraction of necessary fuel weight for a given range declines. Range ~ ln(LandingW/TOW)*(L/D)/SFC. The -900's MTOW capabilities from 2005 would probably make it a ~9,000nm frame with 2020 engines.

So yes they planned for the future. A future that passed. We'll never see an A380 with 650t MTOW as planned. This is why the only sensible NEO would include a stretch to sop up marginally useful LR capability. Meanwhile a NEO would soldier on carrying the structure and compromises forced by turn-of-the-century technology and last century's aerospace environment.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:17 am

Doesn’t this come down to how many more frames EK will take if A decides to do a NEO? After all everybody agrees that when full, the 380 is great but only EK can do this in numbers that are meaningful.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:29 am

Quoting Planeflyer (Reply 18):
Doesn’t this come down to how many more frames EK will take if A decides to do a NEO? After all everybody agrees that when full, the 380 is great but only EK can do this in numbers that are meaningful.

Not necessarily. If the changes made can increase the lead over the competition as Matt suggests, the required load factor to make a profit goes down. This could enormously expand the potential market. If you only have to average 80% load factor suddenly the A380 looks a lot less of a risk.
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:41 am

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 15):
Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 12):
Not exactly. The wing can be modified to handle 650t.

I understand that the modifications are relatively small in nature and don't require a tremendous re-work.

As with all airliners, the 380 wing is exactly as strong as it needs to be. Adding 75 tons to it's capability won't be that minor. It was designed with 650t in mind in the first place, so the design part should be fairly straight forward, but the change in internal structure will be more than an added brace or two.
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:13 am

I wonder if we're seeing the start of a market where no new clean sheet design is cost effective for decades?
I liked Matt's suggestion that his proposal should be consider in terms of "If a new VLA would make sense right now, it's worth redesigning the A380neo to match it's capabilities." I don't know that I believe the efficiency gains he's contemplating. I wonder what the ideal aircraft for an 80m wing would be.

But given the massive costs faced by the 787 and A350 projects, maybe both Airbus and Boeing decide that there really isn't a business case for any new aircraft design - they'll finish the A350 and 777 series expansions they've already announced, and that will be it until 2030 or so.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:33 am

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 21):
But given the massive costs faced by the 787 and A350 projects, maybe both Airbus and Boeing decide that there really isn't a business case for any new aircraft design - they'll finish the A350 and 777 series expansions they've already announced, and that will be it until 2030 or so.

707 1957
727 1963 6
737 1967 4
747 1969 2
757/767 1982/1981 12.5
777 1994 12
787 2009 15

The costs are rising and the ability to make quantum leaps in efficiency are becoming more difficult. The Max is the Max because the performance wasn't (and still isn't) available to make the next leap in a timely fashion -- the airlines wanted Y% now at a reasonable price, not 2xY% at a higher cost several years out.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:43 am

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 21):
I don't know that I believe the efficiency gains [Matt6461 is] contemplating.

I don't blame you, I don't know if I do either. I apply what I know about the basics of drag and structural weight from aerodynamics textbooks and I get what I got. Anyone who wants to play with my aerodynamics/weight model can email me at [email protected] Then you can look at my work and call me out for being wrong if I am. Although hopefully we'd help each other learn... I've used it compare other planes as well. It usually matches real world performance within a few percentage points here and there. Every now and then I catch a glitch but it's getting a little better all the time hopefully.

Screenshot of the model, comparing 400-seat A380X to 334-seat 777-9, is here:

http://i592.photobucket.com/albums/tt8/matt6461pics/A380X%20Combi%202015%2006%2019_zpsvswvudgf.png

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 21):
I wonder what the ideal aircraft for an 80m wing would be.

A380X with winglets and a smaller CFRP wing- A380NWO.   It only suffers a 2-3% fuel burn penalty. Something like Keesje's Ecoliner would be great but wouldn't require the full 80m. Once you're above 777 size the double-deck makes sense. The MD-12 would have been a great plane had it been built.

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 21):
maybe both Airbus and Boeing decide that there really isn't a business case for any new aircraft design

I greatly fear that the A380 and 787 debacles have made this true. Luckily the A350 actually went pretty well. A couple years delay, ~50% cost overrun. Not bad. Hopefully production ramp goes smoothly. Airbus isn't planning any union busting like Boeing so it should. If A and B can match A350 program they'll launch. It isn't TOO difficult to close a business case for $15bn development cost. $2.5bn annual annual profit stream from a 100 frames @ $25mn profit each for widebodies, say. That's a 17% IRR - should be good enough. But not if you're worried about the program costing $25bn and profits being delayed 3-4 years. Then you're screwed.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:48 am

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 235):
If I had known that a single mention of CM would have gotten such a rise out of you... I would have included it in all my posts.

The suggestion that if we didn't agree with your conclusion we were somehow inept at corporate messaging came across as arrogant IMO.
Having been involved in that sort of corporate messaging for some 20+ years that irritated me somewhat.

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 235):
It's entirely reasonable to rely on reporting from a group like Leeham

No. It's not. It is reasonable to consider Leeham as a source of evidence. RELYING on then would suggest knowing for certain that they speak with the voice of the OEM.
To use your very own words...

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 235):
Neither of us know for certain whether Leeham was being fed accurate, but now outdated, information

That's the issue with 3rd party commentary - it's impossible to gauge the information on which it's based.
In Richard Evan's case, he's offering an opinion for Flightglobal. And yes, if you know him, it IS an informed opinion.
But that's all it is.

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 235):
I like this - it's kind of like Astuteman's Rules of Evidence. Hearsay definitely not permissible. The declarant must stand and testify!

I'd suggest that heresay is not permissible if it's going to be presented as a factual line from the OEM.
That's not my rule. That's just logical
It's funny that in the A350-900 Range thread we're being told to be careful because the OEM's have said nothing about an A350-900LR, and the very same Leeham, are merely offering an opinion.
By some of the same people who in this thread seem to be dismissing the OEM's lack of commentary beyond "we'll need a business case" and hanging their hat on these informed 3rd party opinions.

Of course the Flightglobal and Leeham opinions are noteworthy and relevant.
But we should not be presenting
"flightglobal think that RR will struggle to make a business case for the A380NEO" as
"It's clearly a FACT that RR have gone from offering to do the heavy lifting on the A380NEO, to giving Airbus the bird".

we don't know that either of those is a fact.
The only fact we do know is that neither RR or Airbus have changed their tune beyond
"we'll need a clear business case".

I don't have an issue with people holding an opinion that things are getting harder for the A380NEO.
They're entitled to do so. They might even be right, but we don't know that.
What they're NOT entitled to do is tell us that this is a FACT backed up by "Corporate messaging".
Because it isn't.

Quoting Revelation, reply=246:
I really don't understand why some feel bound to only listen to OEM quotes and press releases. That's in essence saying the media has no function at all.

nobody feels that way as far as I can see.
The media press releases ARE part of the relevant data set.
But when the press releases from the OEM say something different, the media opinions should NOT be peddled in front of us as OEM press releases.
That's all.
I've no issue with people holding opinions.

Quoting Revelation, reply=246:
Wouldn't it be nice if we had a forum where we could discuss these things?

Isn't that what we are doing?
I don't see what is wrong with expecting context to a discussion though. especially amongst intelligent people.

Rgds
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:30 am

Quoting astuteman (Reply 24):


This meta-debate has really gone on... I will grant you that you are correct that RR didn't throw cold water on the A380NEO. I will grant you that RR never publicly, explicitly stated they were all in for the NEO. Here's how I see it:

In December, Leeham reported that RR was all in for the NEO. You and I believed that to be the case. I said I "trust" Leeham - by that I mean only that, in the absence of countervailing evidence, their publishing something gives some reason to believe it. Not blind or any kind of faith. Just some reason.

Now, RR says it's not yet convinced of NEO. You point out that it didn't say, "we're not yet convinced, we once were, but we took a harder look at the NEO and its business case is shaky." You are correct in saying that as well.

I am pointing out the following: (1) Leeham has sources at OEM's. It has broken stories before that turn out to be true. (2) Leeham reported that RR was all in during December. (3) RR has a new CEO. (4) Under the new CEO, RR needs to be convinced of the business case.

Given 1-4, I see at least two possible factual cases behind the "evidence":

A. Maybe (4) was always the case - Leeham's reporting was incorrect.

B. On the other hand, maybe (4) is a new development. The new CEO would never say, basically, "Yeah my predecessor liked the NEO but I doubt Airbus will be able to sell this thing." The problem with relying primarily on OEM statements is there is so much they have incentive not to say. RR will not throw Airbus under the bus.

I am not strongly choosing sides between A and B. I am merely saying that (B) wouldn't be an unreasonable conjecture. We cannot know, there's little point in discussing it further.

I took the "news" to be much much smaller: it threw "cold water" on A.net's understanding of RR's NEO attitude - yours and mine. We thought RR was on board, based on Leeham reporting, Ultrafan R&D path etc. Basically we looked at NEO as if, from RR's perspective but perhaps not Airbus's, the NEO business case was closed. Please don't make me go back and find the threads in which we said those things - I think you've admitted as much yourself. I never took this thread to properly hold itself out as RR setting Airbus straight. It has set us straight, however.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 24):
The suggestion that if we didn't agree with your conclusion we were somehow inept at corporate messaging came across as arrogant IMO.
Having been involved in that sort of corporate messaging for some 20 years that irritated me somewhat.
Quoting astuteman (Reply 24):

Probably how I said "any reasonable reader..." OK gotcha. I would have used the word "presumptuous" as well.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 24):
I'd suggest that heresay is not permissible if it's going to be presented as a factual line from the OEM.

Any reporting of any quote is hearsay - an out of court statement offered for the truth of the matter asserted. It irritates me when the hearsay rule is misstated. But you go easy on me for being a corporate messaging amateur and I'll go easy about the legalese.  
Quoting astuteman (Reply 24):
especially amongst intelligent people.

awwwwwe
  
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:57 am

Quoting matt6461 (Reply 25):
In December, Leeham reported that RR was all in for the NEO. You and I believed that to be the case.

I'm not sure that Astuteman will be too happy with you claiming to know what he did or did not believe but I (and, I suspect, many others) have never believed that RR have ever been "all in" for a neo yet. Until Airbus have decided what a neo will actually look like and have canvassed the airlines for what they think of it, RR cannot have any certainty whatsoever about any business case, and RR management would be failing in their legal obligations to shareholders to commit RR to a program without fully understanding what they were committing to, and the likely costs and benefits of doing so.

Quoting matt6461 (Reply 25):
Basically we looked at NEO as if, from RR's perspective but perhaps not Airbus's, the NEO business case was closed.

If by "we", you meant to write "I", you might have been right. You really need to stop speaking for other people.

Quoting matt6461 (Reply 25):
It irritates me when the hearsay rule is misstated.

A.net is a discussion forum, not a court of law. The hearsay "rule" (i.e. dictionary definition) here is:
"information received from other people which cannot be substantiated; rumour."

I'm pretty sure Astuteman was using the term perfectly correctly.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:13 am

That is a pointless discussion, Neither of the involved parties is stupid, they all look at the business case and how there likely outcome will look. In the end it all hangs on the airline, if Airbus would find 5 customers with each signing up for 50 NEOs, (1000 engines) they are probably willing to shoulder more risk than with one customer willing to buy 150. And in the end the situation is no different for Airbus. The probably have presented their options to the possible customers. The more customers that are willing to commit, the better the business case gets. The better the busniess case gets, the more money you can risk to invest.

I think there were not many takers for the NEO and neither RR nor Airbus are willing to shoulder the risk. So they are back to exploring other ideas on what to do with the A380. It can be anything from a stretch to a new wing to closing down the production.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:13 am

Quoting matt6461 (Reply 25):
Given 1-4, I see at least two possible factual cases behind the "evidence":

Before Astuteman points this out, I want to identify another possible factual case, one that would show him to be entirely right:

C. Leeham's reporting was and is correct, RR still strongly favors the NEO, the CEO is just saying what he must in public.

Look I haven't been following the meta-debate a whole lot, have been trying to focus on drag, weight, SFC and those kinds of things. Can I just say you're right, Astuteman, and can this thread get back to talking about aerodynamics and economics?
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:40 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 1):
It's crazy there is a part 2 to this thread. I mean, the article basically said that RR would need to see a business case for the engine before building it. That's true for EVERY program...

Agreed. I have never been carpet bombed. Until now.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:06 am

We can have a lot of discussion about Airbus should have designed the A380 different and throw ridiculous numbers around what design changes could bring, but the A380 is what it is today.

I assume that the 80m wingspan Airbus limited the A380 too was thought as a reasonable maximum at the time of design.
I see no big problems for folding wingtips bringing the span to nearly 90 m, folded for taxiing down to the original 80m.
There is one airplane flying around with a wingspan of 88m , the AN 225 and that bird has been seen on quite a few airports that official can not even accept a A380. Perhaps a design that would be removable and/or optional and be able to be exchanged for a fixed version bringing the span down to 80m again.

The A380 is the current leader in CASM if her potential is used, up to 853 pax. We have low pax numbers because the current users of the A380 are going for premium rather than maximum pax. We will soon see 600+ pax frames flying for Emirates.
IMO it will be possible to fit the A380 with new engines bringing up to 10% less fuel burn than the current Trent 900. With an additional small stretch I am sure the A380 will keep being the CASM leader.

An 200 frame potential at Emirates should be enough for doing the A380neo. I understand Airbus waiting for a second or third airline to commit. I still think it not ridiculous that we will see MOUs and a decision to make the neo on the Dubai air show.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:05 pm

Quoting matt6461 (Reply 8):
The -800's engine are clearly meant to support a much bigger plane.

Trent 900 series of the engines are certified in between [75,2 - 84,1] klb s.t. Those higher thrust versions of the Trent 900 engine series - RB211-Trent 977-84, RB211-Trent 977B-84 and RB211-Trent 980-84 were planned in advance for the larger and the heavier models of the A380: A380F and A380-900.
So, the engines of the Trent 900 series were projected for the mentioned thrust interval and, as such, were not overlooked for any further and especially not for any significant thrust growth.
Two versions of the Trent 900 engines were used on the A380s powered by RR and delivered so far:

RB211-Trent 970B-84 (348,31 kN - 78.304 lb)
RB211-Trent 972B-84 (356,81 kN - 80.213 lb)

You can, also, take a look at the A380´s production list in the thread:

A380 Production Thread Part 21 (by American 767 Jun 3 2015 in Civil Aviation)#58

If, with the regard to the possible further development of the A380, there would exist the need for the higher thrusts than those certified by the Trent 900 engines, series 900 should be thoroughly modified, and that, by the using of the technical solutions and the technologies already applied in the development of the engines of the series Trent XWB, Trent 1000, Trent 7000, as well as those intended for the RR Advance engines.
Would that mean that, in the seeking for the additional engine´s thrust, increasing the fan´s speed or scaling-up the core, maybe even both, would be necessary, the same way as it was for the Trent XWB-97 engine, I am not sure.
There is also a possibility that by the improved aerodynamics of the engine´s flow, obtained by using of the advanced technical solutions, but also by using of thermally more resistant materials, required thrusts could be obtained without the need for the fan´s speed increasing or scaling-up the core (I suppose that such a reconstructed engine would retain the same fan diameter - 116˝ because it was carefully optimized for this purpose - EA´s GP7200 engines have the same fan diameter)...

If that existing Trent 900 series of engines would really have such a large reserve of the power and the thrust, that would mean they work with the operating parameters in the middle or, in the best case, upper middle area of the diagram and, as such, would be quite inefficient and inferior compared to EA's GP7200 engines. If that was the case, I am not so sure that most of the customers would choose Rolls- Royce to power their A380s, as they have, nor would Emirates turned to Rolls-Royce, regardless of the background of their decision to do so...

Nice regards

Mario

P.S.

E.012 Rolls-Royce plc. RB211 Trent 900 engine series
http://easa.europa.eu/system/files/d...900_series_engines-06-11122013.pdf

TCDS E00075EN - RB211 Trent 900
http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Gu...62573080054f9ea/$FILE/E00075EN.pdf
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:02 pm

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 19):
If you only have to average 80% load factor suddenly the A380 looks a lot less of a risk.

Considering the break-even load factor on a 555-seat A380 is projected to be around 60%, an 80% load factor should currently not look like much of a risk...
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:10 pm

Quoting mfranjic (Reply 31):


I appreciate your long response but everything I have read says the max thrust for both T900 and GP7200, as deployed on A380's, is 72,000lbs.

e.g., from a quick Google search:
http://planefinder.net/about/news/ai...s-weightier-payloads-for-new-a380/
http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-ne...gp7200-adds-two-new-thrust-ratings

From RR itself:

Quote:
The Trent 900 is certified at 70k, 72k, 77k and 80k pounds of thrust. The higher two ratings demonstrate the growth capability embedded in the engine, should further aircraft development be required.
http://www.rolls-royce.com/customers...ge-engines/trent-900.aspx#overview

The website appears to be current - it touts the EK win.

Perhaps you're using test-stand thrust in your figures instead of on-wing thrust? I also had a little trouble understanding your post's language - to be clear I know that the T900 is capable of 80k+ thrust, I just don't believe any currently-produced A380 actually needs or uses that much thrust. RR's website is pretty clear about 72+ being for further development, and I've never read anything suggesting A380 uses 72+.

Quoting mfranjic (Reply 31):
would be quite inefficient and inferior compared to EA's GP7200 engines.

I'm not saying that. I'm saying both engines are built to grow. They both have low thrust-weight ratios of the low 5's: They're both ~14,000lbs dry weight. See wikipedia article for links.

[Edited 2015-07-15 06:32:31]
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:52 pm

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 21):
I wonder if we're seeing the start of a market where no new clean sheet design is cost effective for decades?
I liked Matt's suggestion that his proposal should be consider in terms of "If a new VLA would make sense right now, it's worth redesigning the A380neo to match it's capabilities."

Matt's own guestimate was that such a VLA is going to cost Airbus ~50% of what A380 originally cost to get into production, and it is going to have to compete with used A380s coming off lease, or never sold, or excess to requirements, as well with whatever new orders Airbus has to take in just to keep the program alive till the A380X becomes available. Those A380 gap filler frames will have to sell cheap because they're about to be made obsolete by an A380X with ~30% better economics. Therefore, it's not as simple as saying "If a new VLA would make sense right now".

Quoting astuteman (Reply 24):
Of course the Flightglobal and Leeham opinions are noteworthy and relevant.
But we should not be presenting
"flightglobal think that RR will struggle to make a business case for the A380NEO" as
"It's clearly a FACT that RR have gone from offering to do the heavy lifting on the A380NEO, to giving Airbus the bird".

I appreciate you catching and calling out people when they post opinion as fact, but I'm not sure my posting should have been labelled as fact. What started it was:

Quote:

Revelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 13916 posts, RR: 25
Reply 120, posted Fri Jul 10 2015 17:02:30 your local time (4 days 16 hours 2 minutes ago) and read 9959 times:

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 82):
There is a reason that nobody besides EK is clamoring for a NEO - they've shown "amazing reticence" about it. http://www.seattletimes.com/business...a380/

And the 2nd paragraph after it says:

Quote:On the other hand, Issaquah-based analyst Scott Hamilton of Leeham.net said Airbus could push a lot of the development cost of an A380neo onto engine maker Rolls-Royce, making its business case less daunting.

... which gets us back to the topic of this thread: perhaps at one time things were different (or Hamilton was just plain wrong), but now RR just isn't in any mood to do the heavy lifting for Airbus.

I think it should be clear this was not an official RR statement, unless one thinks that corporations have moods. It should also be clear from context that it's my perception and it's based on non-official statements from Leeham and others along with the article being discussed (which had both RR and non-RR content). In any case, human communication is far from perfect, and in the future I will try to be clearer.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 24):
But when the press releases from the OEM say something different, the media opinions should NOT be peddled in front of us as OEM press releases.

I think people should be as clear as they can about the source of their statements of fact and/or opinion, and as earlier I don't think OEM statements are always gospel truth so I don't think it's a hard and fast rule that they always take precedent. You yourself stated that Bregier's statements at one point were mostly to calm investors and not actionable. There were plenty of OEM statements regarding A350 Mk1 and Boeing NSA that ended up being misdirections. I agree though that it'd be best if they were posted as "Despite OEM X saying Y, I feel ...".

For the sake of some non-meta-discussion, from the last thread:

Quote:
I still don't understand why many here (and Scott Hamilton too) feel that RR will do all the heavy lifting for Airbus. My earlier comments said as much:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 66):
Personally I can see a scenario where RR keeps running research and development in the background and rolls out what they find as it matures, instead of the "moon shot" road map of Advance -> UltraFan. Hopefully they have the tech ready and they have the cash from waves of successful Trent deliveries just as the market shows a clear need for a new engine.

yet didn't get much reaction.

So why do some people seem to feel RR will "do the heavy lifting" just to complete a road map? Why can't they just keep doing the R&D ( ref: http://www.rolls-royce.com/about/our.../research/research-programmes.aspx ) and bring the tech into production when there is a clearly profitable use for it? Doesn't a string of disappointing financial results make such a decision less likely? I realize that RR's near term results are due to A330 sales dropping and A330neo requiring unplanned investments and they will definitely get past that, but doesn't a corporation tend to want to see those positive results before committing to large, risky additional investments?

Ref: Flightglobal Article Pours Cold Water On A380NEO (by travelhound Jul 8 2015 in Civil Aviation)#35
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:04 pm

I have a dumb question-if the A380ceo has the ability to maximize its' CASM potential with higher density seating, why have we not seen A380ceo operators engage that CASM potential? You'd think we would have seen that by now. I know the Transaero order was probably going to be the first. But you'd think others would have attempted this already. Perhaps the markets the current operators serve don't lend themselves to that kind of seating and premium seating is a must. But if that's so... then we have to ask what advantages the A380neo would really bring vs the A380ceo. Perhaps there is just not enough of a CASM gain in the NEO vs the CEO to justify the development of the aircraft and sell it to customers? EK wants it. We know that. Are there others that have shown interest in the NEO?
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:16 pm

Quoting PanAm1971 (Reply 35):
why have we not seen A380ceo operators engage that CASM potential? You'd think we would have seen that by now.

Probably because many A380 cabins are still too young to be replaced. And A380 cabin reconfiguration are rather expensive, I suppose most operators would want to wait until the first heavy maintenance check before stripping the airplane down to the metal.

Also, operators seem to be using the A380 for premium capacity. Unless Airbus offers 'smart' lavatories and galleys for the A380, adding additional (Economy) seats would result in less premium seats. And while Airbus are offering 11-abreast Y on the main deck, the product is not available yet.
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:29 pm

Quoting PanAm1971 (Reply 35):
if the A380ceo has the ability to maximize its' CASM potential with higher density seating, why have we not seen A380ceo operators engage that CASM potential? You'd think we would have seen that by now. I know the Transaero order was probably going to be the first.

You're treating CASM far too literally. Transaero's A380 isn't 50% more efficient than KE's. If the A380 is at 853 seats then the 77W should be 550 seats. It's a matter of revenue/cost. Of course Etihad's nominal CASM would decrease if it replaced The Apartment with 25 AirAsia 16.5' seats. But its revenue/cost, i.e. profit, would almost certainly decline.

This is why comparisons tethered to actual cabin areas are a better starting point. From there you can adjust slightly for, e.g., 77W's denser Y cabin at 10-abreast versus A380's comfort premium.

The A380 will have ~50% more usable cabin area than 777-9. I linked to the Leeham story in the last thread, Amedeo actually says less than 50% delta. www.amedeo.aero/a380. That's the proper baseline for comparison. Doing anything else lets you play games with seat counts like the OEM's do all the time.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:40 pm

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 36):
Probably because many A380 cabins are still too young to be replaced.

First of all Karel I want to thank you for your patience. I've been in business for a long time... however-and very sadly-not the airline business.   Also, thanks for your outstanding contributions to the production threads... especially the 748i production thread.

[Edited 2015-07-15 07:45:29]
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:53 pm

Quoting matt6461 (Reply 33):

The only authoritative source of the reliable information is the technical documentation of the relevant institutions: EASA and FAA. All the other sources of the information might be only approximate, unprofessional and unreliable! As a true connoisseur of the different issues, you have to know where to look for the reliable sources of the informations, and if you want to be credible, you have no choice.

The thrust of which I speak is the Static Thrust at Sea Level - Take-off (5 min) and what is so clearly visible from the technical documentation...
Maybe this will help a little more; these are EASA´s and FAA´s certifications of the A380 itself, in which You can, also, see on how much thrust are the A380´s engines certified:

EASA.A.110
http://easa.europa.eu/system/files/d...-A.110_Airbus_A380-08-24092013.pdf

FAA TYPE CERTIFICATE DATA SHEET NO. A58NM
http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Gu...FE862573B70056D374/$FILE/A58NM.pdf

If this does not help, then You and I can still talk, but we will not find a common language.
Each of us is free to believe in what we want to.

Nice regards

Mario

P.S. Also, I do apologize for my language, but I really do try.
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:03 pm

Quoting PanAm1971 (Reply 38):
The only authoritative source of the reliable information is the technical documentation of the relevant institutions: EASA and FAA.

I looked at those tables too, a while ago. But there's another pretty credible source: RR. They say the 72+ versions are for future growth. http://www.rolls-royce.com/customers...ge-engines/trent-900.aspx#overview

It may be that the technical definition and commercial definitions are different. OEM's may commercially offer thrust at a lower margin than what is certified as technically possible. Hitting technical limits might shorten engine life, for example, so some margin short of tech limits is always needed. RR, for example, appears to have pushed that limit too far at first with some of its T900's. http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...imited-to-75-flight-cycles-350901/

I do not know the exact reason, but when RR says its engine is 72k lbs-T, I take RR's word for it.

Quoting mfranjic (Reply 39):
P.S. Also, I do apologize for my language, but I really do try.

I believe you and thanks! I'm trying to learn Spanish, couldn't imagine trying to write about planes or anything else in it.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:33 pm

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 21):
I wonder if we're seeing the start of a market where no new clean sheet design is cost effective for decades?
I liked Matt's suggestion that his proposal should be consider in terms of "If a new VLA would make sense right now, it's worth redesigning the A380neo to match it's capabilities."

The more I think about it, in the context of today's world where new and used A380s are readily available to undermine any new VLA, I don't think a new VLA makes sense right now. The current A380 is a blessing and a curse in this context. It makes an all new VLA more feasible because much of it can be reused for the all new VLA, but all that infrastructure needs to be kept in some form of motion while the new VLA is developed, which undermines the case for the new VLA.
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:54 pm

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 20):
As with all airliners, the 380 wing is exactly as strong as it needs to be. Adding 75 tons to it's capability won't be that minor. It was designed with 650t in mind in the first place

Ok got it. There is no A389 that I can currently envision that would require the full 650t anyway so I guess it is moot for this neo.

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 21):
But given the massive costs faced by the 787 and A350 projects, maybe both Airbus and Boeing decide that there really isn't a business case for any new aircraft design -

I think its a good point but I think the blame might lie elsewhere. I think airlines aren't willing to pay and wait (as 7BOEING7 indicated) for these large new projects and therefore it requires large groups of retiring aircraft to make them work for the OEMs and there just aren't enough opportunities for that. One new, clean sheet project per decade seems to be what we will get for the time being.

Quoting speedbored (Reply 26):
I'm not sure

I am pretty sure that when you say someone's statements are:

Quoting speedbored (Reply 3):
erroneous

and they are being:

Quoting speedbored (Reply 3):
clearly disingenuous at best

then I wouldn't respond directly to you either. Especially after it has been shown in many posts that your statement:

Quoting speedbored (Reply 3):
But who says that the A380 was optimized for the -900? As far as I can tell, this is purely an assumption, an erroneous one IMO.

was the one that was, in fact, erroneous. Yet zero acknowledgement of it. I think Matt has the right idea.

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 36):
And while Airbus are offering 11-abreast Y on the main deck, the product is not available yet.

I didn't know that. Do we know when it is available?

Quoting matt6461 (Reply 37):
The A380 will have ~50% more usable cabin area than 777-9. I linked to the Leeham story in the last thread, Amedeo actually says less than 50% delta. www.amedeo.aero/a380. That's the proper baseline for comparison. Doing anything else lets you play games with seat counts like the OEM's do all the time.

But even cabin area isn't perfect. Some cross sections are more efficient than others. As 77Ws tend to use less cabin area for its 10-abreast Y than the A380 does. Likewise comparing an A330 to a 767 on cabin area alone may not take into account that the A330 gets an extra seat per aisle than the 767. Nothing is perfect but cabin area is probably as good as we've got.

tortugamon
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:02 pm

I think that depends on the perceived target market. For example, I think the A380 makes a lot of sense for BA, QF and other airlines that have some extremely long flights to very high demand locations (LHR-HKG, SYD-LAX, etc). The demand is huge because the origin and destinations are megacities. The flights are far enough that only large wide bodies makes sense, and they are long enough that having flights every hour doesn't work. Obviously, these are existing A380 operators, but I think they'll find there are more routes like this in their network than they think.

I don't know if that's enough to make a new VLA pencil out. But the frame of reference of "Is a significant development program justifiable?" is appropriate, whether the answer is yes or no.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:12 pm

'And how about it just looks stubby'

Oh Please!

Imagine its a single decker (same capacity) (Umm errr longer??) then see how it 'just looks'

And yes

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 15):
Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 12):
Not exactly. The wing can be modified to handle 650t.

There was a strengthened/heavier version for the cargo plane that never was- and would have been used for the -900.One wing set was created but never used.

What Airbus have said is that they are looking at a mini stretch (has been called the -850 here). My guess is that this is the max stretch they can do 'without' strengthening or modifying (adding weight)to the -800 wing. Less power required therefore less weight too.(and Blended wingtips will increase the aspect ratio too)
Lets see in Dubai.
The problem with the A380 is not its economics (God knows how many times Emirates need to prove this every single day - scaring the living daylights out of every other airline it comes up against).
The problem is it is just too damn big for 80% plus of other airlines. Full Stop.They built it too big.
Its only salvation (other than Emirates of course) is whether the stretched version can replace (say) 2 744's (or similar) on any given route.Then the economics of the plane go off the chart.
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:30 pm

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 43):
Obviously, these are existing A380 operators, but I think they'll find there are more routes like this in their network than they think.

I think the big issue is that operators are not finding routes for the A380.

NY Times On The 380: Oversize Expectations Part 1 (by MaverickM11 Aug 11 2014 in Civil Aviation)

gave us that Airbus expected to make 751 frames over 20 years to get the desired program ROI. I think it's pretty clear that they are not on that kind of pace.

EK has had a runaway success with the airframe. Unfortunately their gains seem to come at the expense of others.

There was a thought that world air traffic would grow rapidly enough to sell that many VLAs, but it seems the big growth is being absorbed by non-VLA widebodies.

Quoting parapente (Reply 44):
The problem is it is just too damn big for 80% plus of other airlines. Full Stop.They built it too big.

It's hard to argue this now.

Quoting parapente (Reply 44):
Its only salvation (other than Emirates of course) is whether the stretched version can replace (say) 2 744's (or similar) on any given route.Then the economics of the plane go off the chart.

There's not many cases where this is happening, not enough to change the program's fortunes.

What is more evident is some traditional VLA customers like UA have ended up buying A350s to replace 744s, and other customers not named EK and perhaps SQ are just not buying the frame at the rate Airbus hoped for.
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Matt6461
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:00 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 41):
all that infrastructure needs to be kept in some form of motion while the new VLA is developed, which undermines the case for the new VLA.

It would be great if the production infrastructure could be kept in motion but, imo, it's not dispositive factor. Boeing had a full stop on the 747 line before the 748 got "going." If you lose efficiencies from continuity of production, you're at best no worse off on the production ramp than a clean-sheet design. Meanwhile your development cost is half.

Most importantly, a derivative's risk is lower to a greater degree than is its development cost. Having one big element (fuselage) well defined reduces the chances of iterative errors and redesigns spinning out of control. IMO there's something exponential about the cost of developing interdependent, cross-optimized airliner parts. Decrease the number of tasks by 40% and the risk of everything blowing up decreases by somewhat more than 40%. As I said earlier - it's probably not the $15bn price tag that weighs against new designs. Rather it's the decent chance that $15 turns into $25-30 and profits are delayed by half a decade (thereby destroying your NPV calculation).

Quoting parapente (Reply 44):
The problem with the A380 is not its economics

As a blanket statement this can't be true. If its trip cost declined by, say, 45%, so that it was only 5% higher than 777, surely it would sell like mad. That's just a thought experiment to isolate idea that if efficiency is good enough, airlines will go bigger. 5% more cost for 50% more seats? Definitely sells. 10%? Still definitely. 20%? Yes, I would expect. 30%? Now it's getting harder. 40%? Now you're the A380CEO, basically. That progression of commercial appeal moves with the economics.

(Trip cost delta)/(Capacity cost delta) is a pretty useful metric. I've called it MBEY in the past, marginal capacity cost (MCC) is probably better. IMJ an airliner has to provide better than 50% MCC to break out of a market trend away from its size, and should be at least around 50% MCC to keep with the market trend. MBEY: Why A380 Doesn't Sell (and NEO Won't Either) (by Matt6461 May 29 2015 in Tech Ops) The A380's MCC is ~80% when averaged for cargo. To me that pretty much explains its poor sales.

Quoting parapente (Reply 44):
Its only salvation (other than Emirates of course) is whether the stretched version can replace (say) 2 744's (or similar) on any given route.Then the economics of the plane go off the chart.

Doesn't this contradict your earlier point? And what's so magical about the 2 for 1 switch?
 
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:48 pm

Quoting matt6461 (Reply 46):
Boeing had a full stop on the 747 line before the 748 got "going."

Yes, for a small number of months, after the line had been scaled down to a low rate, and whilst the production line was being reconfigured. It's not clear that the A380 -> A380X gap would be the same situation, IMHO. Also it's easy to predict that frames produced up to that gap reduce the demand for the new a/c, just like a glut of relatively 744Fs are creating problems for sales of new 748Fs.

Quoting matt6461 (Reply 46):
If you lose efficiencies from continuity of production, you're at best no worse off on the production ramp than a clean-sheet design. Meanwhile your development cost is half.

I'm not following.

Quoting matt6461 (Reply 46):
IMO there's something exponential about the cost of developing interdependent, cross-optimized airliner parts. Decrease the number of tasks by 40% and the risk of everything blowing up decreases by somewhat more than 40%.

The real issue is A380X is as described is preserving the outer line of the fuselage and several of the major systems, yet changing pretty much everything else. New wing, wing box, landing gear, empennage, fuse materials, etc. Those things are not immune to the interdependency blow-up you described. 748 took a big hit from unexpected flutter, for instance. 787 had its infamous side-of-body join cock-up and A380X is changing both wing and wing box. Hard to say that such things could not happen to A380X. I think we can say they have the wiring harness thing sorted, though!  
Quoting matt6461 (Reply 46):
As I said earlier - it's probably not the $15bn price tag that weighs against new designs. Rather it's the decent chance that $15 turns into $25-30 and profits are delayed by half a decade (thereby destroying your NPV calculation).

Given its scope of changes, A380X still has exposure to such risks, IMHO.
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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Matt6461
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:07 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 45):
I think the big issue is that operators are not finding routes for the A380.
Quoting Revelation (Reply 45):
EK has had a runaway success with the airframe.

I may be biting off a bit too much here but let me briefly try squaring this circle. This is still a "work in progress" so to speak - feel free to help me out. Or to shoot it all down and feel great about that...

One of airline executive's most frequently-cited dings against upgauging, whether 777X or A380, is yield dilution. If a plane carries X more seats than previous equipment's Y, an airline must, by definition, sell X more cheaply than Y. All previous seats were sold to the "highest bidders," as computed by yield management programs. X will be those who bid too low on Y. Thus yield declines.

Every airline route has some population X by which it could expand if it could profitably board them. On at least a purely conceptual level, EK proves this. DUS-DXB wasn't close to an A380 route until EK accepted X's bids, same for NCL-DXB and the 77W. EK saw long ago X's DUS-DXB-[world] bids, believed it had a business model to take these effectively lower bids and make a profit on them, and executed its strategy marvelously.

What the A380X/NWO offers, inter alia, is approximately that business plan. EK combines a (1) ~10% CASM edge via 77W and A380 with (2) a further ~10% edge due to labor costs and supportive aviation policy. It needs both, IMO, to profitably move X bids that are effectively lower both due to lower-paying pax mix and longer effective stage lengths on routes through DXB (check that Circle Map - DXB isn't really ideal if you're heading north of Singapore from Europe). The A380X gives you at least 20% CASM edge over 777-9 if I'm WAY off, 29% if I'm dead on.

Airlines operating from a single hub - CX or KE for example - will take bids for transfer pax that they currently don't accept if the economics are there. It's their only way to grow beyond O&D stimulation, and it's rational as long as marginal revenue exceeds cost.

Think of, e.g., PVG in 2025. The X population willing to bid on, e.g., ORD-PVG will be far greater than current capacity and far greater than the Y population that would bid on typical twin-engine direct flights. We're talking tourists, recent Chinese immigrants to the U.S., and those from literally dozens of secondary/tertiary Chinese cities with over a million people. Many of these cities could see one or two direct connections to the U.S. - HGH, NKG, XMN, XIY, CSX... Many never will - YNT, TNA, TSN, HFE, NNG... If some airline - in this case China Eastern - recognized X's bids, and foresaw a business plan (i.e. fly A380X) that could profitably accept them, it would be enormous.

An airline like China Eastern could start with 15-20 A380X's for its core mega-mega routes. It could begin building hub waves around these flights, then gradually expand A380X operations and attendant hub waves as it accepted more and more X bids until marginal revenue approached cost by suitable margin. The appeal to China Eastern is that only a thickly-hubbed network carrier with preexisting or easily realizable frequency to all of the places where X lives - only such an airline could operate the A380X business model. Upstarts like HNA couldn't do it. The big carriers would solidify their position against likely future competition from low-cost long haulers - i.e. they wouldn't see moving to A380X as just lowering the yield curve for everyone.

The basic point is that airline routes aren't big enough for the A380 because its economics aren't good enough to make them big enough. Building a network to accept lower bids is a huge investment and if done on thin cost margins, a catastrophic risk. Thus CEO's 10% CASM edge isn't good enough to warp the business model. 30% would be, 25% likely would be, 20% could be. Once again, it all comes back to economics - capacity isn't destiny.

Ok like I said a work in progress. Back to writing a brief!
 
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speedbored
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RE: Cold Water On A380NEO - Part 2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:11 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 42):
was the one that was, in fact, erroneous.

No it was not. The current structure might not be optimal for the -800 but it most definitely was not "optimized for a -900". How on earth could Airbus possibly have optimized it for an aircraft that they have not yet defined, let alone designed?

Just because Airbus designed in expansion does not mean that the current structure is "optimized" for any specific larger frame.

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