Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
mozart
Topic Author
Posts: 2164
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:21 am

Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:22 pm

Only for approaches into LCY - i.e. used currently by a measly two planes? Or also other airports? And is it offered only on the A318, or also other planes of the A32S family?
 
prebennorholm
Posts: 7064
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 6:25 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:26 pm

Quoting mozart (Thread starter):
....or also other planes of the A32S family?

My guess is that it is more a runway length issue than an approach angle issue. 4900 feet runway is short.

The A318 just happens to be the only Airbus plane which can lift a meaningful payload out of LCY. Nowhere near MTOW of course, but still a meaningful payload.

While an A320 could technically (be modified to) do the same, then it would be with almost empty cabin and little more than reserve fuel, making it all meaningless.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
mozart
Topic Author
Posts: 2164
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:21 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:54 pm

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 1):
My guess is that it is more a runway length issue than an approach angle issue. 4900 feet runway is short.

Actually, no, it has nothing to do with runway length, but with the steepness of the glideslope on approach. On approach to LCY the GS has an angle of 5.5 degrees (almost double the "normal" 3 degrees). With the steep approach mode the plane does not accelerate despite the steep descent, otherwise it would pick too much speed.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 1):
The A318 just happens to be the only Airbus plane which can lift a meaningful payload out of LCY. Nowhere near MTOW of course, but still a meaningful payload.

It is true that LCY has a short runway and also a small apron and where an A320 could not operate.

But since the steep approach mode was not built for short runways but for steep approaches. Hence my original question. I am wondering whether there are any airports in the world where airlines do or could operate Airbus planes with a steep approach mode and whether Airbus ever marketed this actively to airlines.
 
bjorn14
Posts: 3595
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:11 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:05 pm

Embraer also offers a SR version of the E190 that was designed specifically for LCY.
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
prebennorholm
Posts: 7064
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 6:25 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:36 pm

Quoting mozart (Reply 2):
On approach to LCY the GS has an angle of 5.5 degrees (almost double the "normal" 3 degrees). With the steep approach mode the plane does not accelerate despite the steep descent, otherwise it would pick too much speed.

The A318 and A320 has the same wing, flaps and spoilers, so of course the A320 can be modified for 5.5 degrees approach at the same weight as A318.

But the A320 has heavier empty weight, therefore leaves less weight for payload, likely almost nothing. Just like the A318 can only serve LCY with severe weight limitations.

5.5 degrees is specific for LCY, and has been so since 1992. Before it was 7.5 degrees. Had the A318 existed at that time, it wouldn't have had a chance to serve LCY. A number of planes, ATR, Q400, BAe146/ARJ, E145/170/190, Do328, F50, F70, Jetstream 41, DHC-7, Saab 340/2000 can be modified and approved for 5.5 degrees along with the A318. There are other airports, mostly in mountain areas, which have approach angles deviating from the standard 3 degrees. Don't know how much Airbus has served that niche market.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9602
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:35 pm

Quoting mozart (Thread starter):
i.e. used currently by a measly two planes?

British Airways paid a lot of money for those two planes to be able to fly from LCY. It wouldn't surprise me if they paid full list price since Airbus had to do additional flight testing to get the airplane capable of landing and taking off from LCY.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
flyboy80
Posts: 2070
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 8:10 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:41 pm

Are the engines at "flight idle" for this steep approach, and obviously full flaps? The E190 seems like it may have a hard time staying slow enough so steep with its relatively short wings, seems like it would just "slip" through the air and pick up too much speed. Im just an FA though, and dont know much about this stuff- certainly find it fascenating though.
 
User avatar
readytotaxi
Posts: 7332
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:51 pm

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 5):

Did not know only two, what happens to the schedule when MX comes around?
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
Growing older, but not up.
 
nws2002
Posts: 906
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:04 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:56 pm

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 7):
Did not know only two, what happens to the schedule when MX comes around?

They reduce flying to a single daily flight for scheduled maintenance. I assume for unscheduled maintenance they figure out a way to get the pax reaccomed on a LHR flight and probably pay for a car service or bus to get them there.
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9602
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:24 pm

Quoting nws2002 (Reply 8):


Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 7):
Did not know only two, what happens to the schedule when MX comes around?

They reduce flying to a single daily flight for scheduled maintenance. I assume for unscheduled maintenance they figure out a way to get the pax reaccomed on a LHR flight and probably pay for a car service or bus to get them there.

Business travel on the LCY-LHR route drops significantly around the major holidays. The route is cut between mid December and January which allows one of the airplanes to go into C check. There is also a 24 hour curfew at LCY on weekends. This allows the airplanes to go through normal maintenance.

If an airplane is grounded for unscheduled maintenance, then they either put people on the other flight or pay for them to get to LHR and cancel the flight.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
ScottB
Posts: 6923
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:25 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:04 pm

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 5):
British Airways paid a lot of money for those two planes to be able to fly from LCY. It wouldn't surprise me if they paid full list price since Airbus had to do additional flight testing to get the airplane capable of landing and taking off from LCY.

Perhaps, but Airbus might have been willing to cut them a break in order to demonstrate to other customers that the A318 is a viable option for serving LCY. There is some value to this, given that many aircraft (though not all) in the following list are out of production and have been for over a decade:

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 4):
A number of planes, ATR, Q400, BAe146/ARJ, E145/170/190, Do328, F50, F70, Jetstream 41, DHC-7, Saab 340/2000 can be modified and approved for 5.5 degrees along with the A318.

The A318 is also the largest of these so it would potentially be an attractive option for operators interested in increasing seat capacity at LCY.
 
Chaostheory
Posts: 1149
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:09 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:07 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 10):
Perhaps, but Airbus might have been willing to cut them a break in order to demonstrate to other customers that the A318 is a viable option for serving LCY. There is some value to this, given that many aircraft (though not all) in the following list are out of production and have been for over a decade:

  

Not to mention a number of corporate operators have purchased the 318E for the steep approach capability.

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 5):
British Airways paid a lot of money for those two planes to be able to fly from LCY. It wouldn't surprise me if they paid full list price since Airbus had to do additional flight testing to get the airplane capable of landing and taking off from LCY.

Occasionally there is some merit to Airbus products. They don't always require steep discounting to sell.  Yeah sure

[Edited 2016-03-08 12:09:39]
 
B777LRF
Posts: 2686
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:23 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:15 pm

The A318 has applications other than airline tool, namely as a corporate jet. A 'LCY rating' opens up quite a few airports of interest to those rich enough to command an ACJ. That is where the majority of the market is, and it's rather good fortunes for Airbus they had airline customers to help foot the bill and develop the procedures, an undertaking even a very capable corporate flight department and owner might well shy away from.

Quoting flyboy80 (Reply 6):
Are the engines at "flight idle" for this steep approach, and obviously full flaps? The E190 seems like it may have a hard time staying slow enough so steep with its relatively short wings, seems like it would just "slip" through the air and pick up too much speed. Im just an FA though, and dont know much about this stuff- certainly find it fascenating though.

The main difference between an A318 steep and standard approach, is that the flight crew will arm the steep approach mode prior to TOD. The primary function of the mode is to enable automatic extension of spoilers during approach, something you would not normally do in landing configuration. This creates drag, which require thrust to overcome, which is what you want during final approach with a jet; spooling up turbine engines from idle is, initially, a sluggish affair. In broad terms, regulations stipulate you must be fully configured for landing at a height of no less than around 1000ft off the ground, depending on a million and one factors. Fully configured means engines spooled up, flaps set for landing, speed within 5-10 knots of approach speed, spoilers armed and a few more things. It's the 'engines spooled up' bit which is interesting in this discussion, and is why the A318 doesn't just float down the glideslope with engines in idle.

I believe the E-jet deploy a spoiler from the lower fairing, whilst e.g. the Avro's use clamshells doors mounted at the tail.

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 5):
British Airways paid a lot of money for those two planes to be able to fly from LCY. It wouldn't surprise me if they paid full list price since Airbus had to do additional flight testing to get the airplane capable of landing and taking off from LCY.

Airbus also undertook an extensive validation campaign before they sold a pair of A319s to Drukair of Bhutan. If you find a steep approach over Canary Wharf interesting, it's a mundane stroll in the park compared to Paro.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 4):
The A318 and A320 has the same wing, flaps and spoilers, so of course the A320 can be modified for 5.5 degrees approach at the same weight as A318.

Do you know this for a fact, or is that an opinion? To my knowledge Airbus has never attempted making the A320 LCY approach compliant, for the simple fact it won't fit the ramp. It does weigh quite a bit more than an A318, also at landing weights, which might mean it would require more spoiler deployment than the authorities feel like approving of. I don't know.

[Edited 2016-03-08 13:16:24]
Signature. You just read one.
 
mjoelnir
Posts: 9391
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:06 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:44 pm

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 4):
A318 can only serve LCY with severe weight limitations.

On take off.
 
kdhurst380
Posts: 347
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:52 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:34 pm

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 13):

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 4):

On take off.

Indeed, and it is in fact a very convenient set up. The A318 has to stop for fuel anyway as it could never do LCY-JFK off that runway, with the added advantage of being able to use the US Pre-clearance facilities at Shannon, so that passengers arrive in JFK domestically, as all the formalities have already been done.

With no such thing existing on the return leg, its a direct flight straight into the middle of London. LCY is however a small airport as we know, and UK customs/immigration formalities are comparatively straightforward.

Ireland is the only country that currently has this facility, and its one of the biggest selling points of the LCY-JFK services.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 12):
Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 4):

Do you know this for a fact, or is that an opinion? To my knowledge Airbus has never attempted making the A320 LCY approach compliant, for the simple fact it won't fit the ramp. It does weigh quite a bit more than an A318, also at landing weights, which might mean it would require more spoiler deployment than the authorities feel like approving of. I don't know.

They do share the same wing and components, and most of the modifications are software based, as it is this that drives the surfaces. So theoretically, yes it could be done, not at the same weight though. Bear in mind that the BA A318's don't have overwing exits, which makes them lighter in the first place. I suspect that there'd be no point modifying the A320 in such a way for LCY ops, as the increased passenger count would likely require the addition of an overwing exit, in addition to it being a bigger, heavier aircraft in the first place.

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 7):
Did not know only two, what happens to the schedule when MX comes around?

When its scheduled, one of the frequencies (I believe BA003/4) doesn't operate.

[Edited 2016-03-08 15:36:34]
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:13 am

Quoting kdhurst380 (Reply 14):
with the added advantage of being able to use the US Pre-clearance facilities at Shannon, so that passengers arrive in JFK domestically, as all the formalities have already been done.

Only on one flight. Pre-clearance at SNN is closed when the later flight operates so those passengers have to clear on arrival at JFK. That changed a few years ago when U.S. budget cuts resulted in the SNN pre-clearance facility closing earlier.
 
Max Q
Posts: 8283
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:10 am

Interesting, is there any aircraft in development that could carry the same payload BA does on their A318's non stop to NY ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
mozart
Topic Author
Posts: 2164
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:21 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:31 am

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 12):
Airbus also undertook an extensive validation campaign before they sold a pair of A319s to Drukair of Bhutan. If you find a steep approach over Canary Wharf interesting, it's a mundane stroll in the park compared to Paro.

But Paro is not about the steepness of the approach. Paro just has very difficult terrain all around the airport making it necessary to make some hair-raising turns. But there are a number of airports like that, compared to which, I agree, LCY is a walk in the park.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 12):
the flight crew will arm the steep approach mode prior to TOD.

Is it prior to TOD? Or prior to final approach?
 
kdhurst380
Posts: 347
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:52 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:26 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 15):
Only on one flight. Pre-clearance at SNN is closed when the later flight operates so those passengers have to clear on arrival at JFK. That changed a few years ago when U.S. budget cuts resulted in the SNN pre-clearance facility closing earlier.

I did not know this, I suppose passengers still get the benefit of using LCY which is far less chaotic than LHR.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 16):

Interesting, is there any aircraft in development that could carry the same payload BA does on their A318's non stop to NY ?

It's quite a niche market, just looking at it from the LCY perspective, any aircraft doing it non stop would need some very powerful engines. Simply put, I don't think the market demand is there.
 
mandala499
Posts: 6593
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 8:47 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:04 am

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 12):
The primary function of the mode is to enable automatic extension of spoilers during approach, something you would not normally do in landing configuration.

Partial spoiler deployment to assist in adding drag on the steeper approach and also increasing the glide angle (like Tristar's Direct Lift Control, but it's not variable on the 318's case).

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 12):
I believe the E-jet deploy a spoiler from the lower fairing, whilst e.g. the Avro's use clamshells doors mounted at the tail.

E-Jets use the same method as the A318s... partial spoiler/speedbrake extension. The lower fairing speedbrake idea was dumped quite quickly as far I remember.
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
TomFoolery
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 9:10 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Offer "Steep Approach" Option?

Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:33 pm

Quoting kdhurst380 (Reply 14):
I suspect that there'd be no point modifying the A320 in such a way for LCY ops, as the increased passenger count would likely require the addition of an overwing exit, in addition to it being a bigger, heavier aircraft in the first place.
Quoting kdhurst380 (Reply 14):
To my knowledge Airbus has never attempted making the A320 LCY approach compliant, for the simple fact it won't fit the ramp.

While LCY is a commonly known airport with a special approach requirement, there are other airports which also have special approach procedures. FLR, for one, has special procedures in place for larger aircraft ops. Alitalia has a specially outfitted subfleet of A320s (IIRC) modified for short field/special performance ops.

I would suspect that there are/were other airports in Europe that required special procedures for A320 sized aircraft to operate into and out of. Business and tourism demand will sometimes develop faster than the infrastructure can keep up with. A lot has changed since the A320 line was introduced (in every respect- Geography, travel habits, tourism, global business, etc.). Places that were a mere spot on a map are now tourism hot spots.



Tom
Paper makes an airplane fly

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CosmicCruiser, Florianopolis, zuckie13 and 38 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos