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AIRBUS A380 RULES!

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AIRBUS A380 RULES!

Old 31st Mar 2001, 09:23
  #21 (permalink)  
Wiley
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Trilander, (your post dated 30 March): "Europe revolutionised air travel by introducing the Concorde 30 years ago..."???? "Revolutionised air travel"? Maybe for a very small number of celebrities, and they could only afford to use it after it was heavily subsidised by the British and French taxpayer. It runs (sorry, 'ran') at a profit only because the two governments 'forgave' all the enormous R&D costs when they sold them to BA and AF.

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O\ZON, (your post of 30 March):" The A380 isn't revolutionary, its just bigger" I concur entirely, (although I accept there will be many innovations 'under the skin', e.g. in weight saving, composite materials use and the production process). But why in the world didn't Airbus planners display the same courage and innovation over the A380 design that they did over the introduction of FBW? This megajet is a fudge, breaking no real new ground (I hope that's not a Freudian slip), and unless it's backed by millions and millions of Euros in subsidies, (coming from the seemingly bottomless pockets of long-suffering European taxpayers), it could well go the way of another aeroplane that was just a bigger version of what was already flying - Howard Hugh's 'Spruce Goose'.

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'Flight Safety makes some very valid points in his post. (He argues far more politely the point I was making in disparaging 'Trilander's' rather sweeping claim regarding Concorde.)

If I had a million of two to invest, (if only!), I think I'd be backing the 'many-different-points-to-points' option that Boeing seems to be following rather than Airbus' megajet option. But I've been wrong before.

We can only hope there'll be room for both in the future commercial aviation market, but I believe Airbus is being a little one-eyed here. Where an airline from country 'x' (e.g. the many growing but not huge economies of Asia and the Pacific Rim for example) can still operate its Boeing (or Airbus) 250-350 seater on ALL its route network, including the major European or US hubs, an airline with an A380 as its flagship will be quite limited on the routes it is either operationally or economically possible to fly it on.

On the other hand, an A380 operator could always buy one of Boeing's new superfast jets for its thinner, 'point to point' routes.

I know what airline I'd rather have my shares invested in.

'Flight Safety' made another point that tallies very closely with my own opinion, and it's one worth noting in the rough and tumble of commercial decision making that : "Regarding the current order backlog for the A380, does anyone remember how many Concordes were on order, and how many airline customers there were who placed orders, when the Concorde was being developed?" Hmmmmm....

 
Old 31st Mar 2001, 13:39
  #22 (permalink)  
CargoRat2
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A380 a decent freighter?? A decent parcel carrier perhaps. Freighter - no way. Airbus was TOLD to build a nose door by the freight airlines years ago. I think I can even dig up a diagram of an A3XX study with a nose-door. Finally they came back & said it was "too difficult".
With reference to the previous B747X cancelled thread: It seems now that we're looking at a 6-9 month delay while additional enhancements/refinements are made.

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rgds Rat
 
Old 1st Apr 2001, 05:38
  #23 (permalink)  
Pielander
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I'm a little confused as to exactly which niche in the market this Boeing Cruiser is aimed at. The long range point to point idea has thus far failed to catch on. The idea of flying at M0.95 on top of this also seems odd, since it might shave 10% off long range flight times at best, but at what cost? Are people really going to want to pay a ridiculous premium just to get to their destination a tiny little bit quicker? Flying point to point from regional airports should save more time than that in itself, without having to develop a revolutionary aircraft, so let's take it one step at a time shall we? Sure, it looks cool - very sleek and elegant, for a <white> elephant

The A380 on the other hand is making a similar conceptual leap as the 747 originally did, i.e. not really a very big leap at all, but rather a step in the right direction given the direction the industry is presently headed. This is a well thought out project, and that's why there were 60 orders before a single sheet of aluminium was cut. The commercial failure of Concorde was a different matter entirely, owing entirely to the noise-abatement fraternity drawing the line at having to replace their greenhouse windows every time the thing flew overhead.
 
Old 2nd Apr 2001, 16:37
  #24 (permalink)  
Trislander
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Red face

To be honest it is a matter of individual points of view on whether you think a certain new breed of aircraft is revolutionary or not. As someone said, the concorde only revolutionised air travel for a select wealthy few, but it is still a revolution for international flight altogether don't you think? Boeings "Sonic (the hedgehog) Cruiser" will only knock about 2-3 hours at most off a long range 747 type flight. WOW! well do you think that that is going to revolutionise air travel for the future? Maybe slightly cheaper than travelling on the Concorde but not much off an LHR-JFK flight is it? maybe one hour. Concorde can do that trip in 3 hours! As for the A380, that will bring down the prices of seats for ultra long range flights dramatically, it will mean that less wealthy people can travel further per /$ than before, and in a much higher level of comfort (ie with bars, restaurants, gyms, cinemas and the like. Now that will be a revolution. And so was Concorde. The proposed 747X didn't get enough interset from the airlines compared to the A380. What is revolutionising about a normal 747 with 50-100 extra seats? Nothing!

Airbus
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Boeing

Tri
 
Old 2nd Apr 2001, 17:16
  #25 (permalink)  
justapplhere
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Absolutely no doubt here chaps. As commercial aviation manufacturing will demonstrate - it's bye bye Boeing and Hello
the BIG European.

So sorry all yank friends but its a done deal !! (unlike the hastily cobbled design in response) !!
 
Old 2nd Apr 2001, 17:25
  #26 (permalink)  
Flap 5
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Sub orbital flights taking one hour between London and Sydney - that would be revolutionary for the 21st century! But M0.95 sounds like more of the same to me. Much like Boeing have always been since their revolutionary 747.
 
Old 2nd Apr 2001, 18:43
  #27 (permalink)  
Flight Safety
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Pielander said:

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">The long range point to point idea has thus far failed to catch on.</font>
I don't see this as being accurate at all. Think about the airliner development that's taken place in the last 20 years.

There has been 2 main classes of airliners developed (or significantly enhanced) in this time frame. The 737/757/A320/MD80 series (and perhaps others) which are short haul, small to medium capacity, high cycle airliners, which are the single aisle airliners. The other main class has been the widebody twin aisle airliners, the A300/A310/A330/A340/767/777 airliners. BTW, jumbos and regional jets I consider to be separate classes from these 2 classes.

The widebodies are where most of the R&D effort has been focused for the last decade, and most of these models have been developed for lange range, medium to large capacity, point-to-point transcontinental-transoceanic routes. In this series the model enhancements of the last decade have added more capacity and greater range. In fact some of these models now possess the longest ranges of all airliners, and this has happened precisely because these enhancements were driven by the market demand for long range point-to-point service.

It seems logical to me that the next airliner models appropriate for this market segment should include faster (near transonic) speeds, great range, and capacities similar to the existing widebody fleet. I think however that any new airliners will still need to be fuel efficient, as I think this will remain important for this market segment. After the latest 777 and A340 models enter into service, what would be the next logical step in developing this class of airliners? Something like the "sonic cruiser" would seem logical to me.

Least you think otherwise, the widebody long range, point-to-point airliner is also a highly profitable airliner for both Boeing and Airbus.

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Safe flying to you...


[This message has been edited by Flight Safety (edited 02 April 2001).]
 
Old 2nd Apr 2001, 19:08
  #28 (permalink)  
Roadtrip
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T-Lander -
Bars, Restaurants, Gyms, (maybe a swimming pool too?)!!?? Please. We all know what the 380 will turn into -- another cattle-car transporting the haj or herds of tourists on discounted holiday tickets. If you look back at Boeing's hype on the 747 you'll see the same nonsense with bars, staterooms, etc.

Selling cheap seats doesn't usually make an airline much money. AAL is making more money now that they have removed seats from their aircraft. More traffic from walk-up business travellers. There's nothing particularly innovative about the 380 concept -- just a bigger plane (that will be limited in it's destinations and usage). If Boeing thought there was a profit in making one, you can bet they'd have the plans on the board now. They may have acquiesed whatever market there is for the superjumbo to Airbus in favor of something else. This Airbus/Boeing rivalry is really a good thing. Neither company could afford to fund R/D for both a superjumbo and a next-gen transport concept. I'm not sure that Boeings sub-mach cruiser is necessarily it, but it'll be something. The world needs both Airbus and Boeing. You know what happens when one company has a monopoloy, don't you?

Which is the best aircraft?? It's the one that pays the best 12yr Captains pay!!!
 
Old 2nd Apr 2001, 22:32
  #29 (permalink)  
Pielander
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Flight Safety

I admit that I may be a little out of touch with the real statistics, and I believe that there is good economic sense behind point to point operations, but it was the following quote that led me to my conclusions:

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">
November 1998:

British Airways announces that it will not resume regional transatlantic services to New York from Glasgow and Birmingham for Summer 1999. Neither of the services operate in the winter season due to poor demand and financial performance.

From the British Airways Factbook 1999-2000
</font>
Of course, this in itself is not likely to cause Boeing strategists to lose any sleep, but I think it is an interesting (and surprising) bit of information.

I think a far more relevant argument against the Sonic Cruiser would be to compare it, strategy wise, to the VC10, then to consider the commercial success of the VC10 (or lack thereof).
 
Old 2nd Apr 2001, 23:22
  #30 (permalink)  
Wino
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I think the reason that they are going for the very high cruise numbers is so that they can cruise it HIGH without losing time.

Get above 37000 and you start to take some steep groundspeed penalties. To make it up they got to get to a higher mach number. If they can get the higher mach number at the high altitude, they will get multiple benefits, not the least of which is the ability to go DIRECT. They would forexample get above the organzied track systems etc...

I think the emphasis on this aircraft is actually getting high, not fast. Fast is a byproduct to make the aircraft fit within accpetable scheduling guidelines. If they stayed at .80 and stepped up into the mid 40s the aircraft would be crawling over the ground...

Getting high lets em climb over the jetstream as well, furthering their advantage in the winter going west...


Cheers
Bohica
 
Old 3rd Apr 2001, 00:17
  #31 (permalink)  
Pielander
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Wino

Why groundspeed penalties at high altitude? Speed of sound is supposed to remain relatively constant above FL360, so TAS @ M0.81 @ FL360 should be very similar to TAS @ M0.81 @ FL450.
 
Old 3rd Apr 2001, 00:26
  #32 (permalink)  
Wino
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I know from personal experience that 35 to 39 is about a 40 kts hit for TAS... As I don't fly anything that goes higher (Im stuck in a bus) I can't tell you above 39, but 35 to 39 makes for a poor groundspeed...


Cheers
Wino
 
Old 3rd Apr 2001, 01:19
  #33 (permalink)  
Pielander
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Lies, damned lies and ISA charts!
 
Old 3rd Apr 2001, 01:51
  #34 (permalink)  
basil fawlty
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Personally i would prefer not to be around when the first "accident/incident" occurs involving this 550 seat monster. I know this is a pessimistic outlook but these things do happen, human error and all that.....
Also i don't see whats revolutionary about transporting an even greater number of the "riff raff" to Orlando, Tenerife or wherever. The old saying that travel broadens the mind is wrong- From what i observe it doesn't!!
 

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