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A380 - the best is yet to come

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A380 - the best is yet to come

Old 23rd Jul 2018, 17:39
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i wonder what BA will do? their 380 fleet (13?) is now quite niche

the config is F14 C97 W55 Y303

stay with 777 787 and now 350's?

the 767's are almost gone and now 3 leased 773's have been taken to replace the oldest trio of GE90 non ER 772 a/c

always amazed me that the likes of BA VS KL SA ANZ CX and QF did not go for the 747-800 and get Mr B to give them a very good deal and maybe take their 744's in return
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Old 23rd Jul 2018, 18:18
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always amazed me that the likes of BA VS KL SA ANZ CX and QF did not go for the 747-800 and get Mr B to give them a very good deal and maybe take their 744's in return
Not me. The -8's are hugely expensive. Twin-engined widebody's are the future. . . .
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Old 23rd Jul 2018, 20:12
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The Denver International Airport Authority isn't undertaking a multiyear expansion, adding 39 new gates for pending arrivals of Boeing or Airbus jumbos, but it does give good indication which direction airlines are headed in terms of aircraft sizes...
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Old 23rd Jul 2018, 21:34
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Originally Posted by rog747
i wonder what BA will do?...
It wouldn’t surprise me if IAG are looking for a great A380 and A350 deal from Airbus and keeping Boeing interested with their B777X offerings, There are reports BA managers have enjoyed recent IB A350 LHR-MAD flights.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 06:45
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What makes China not buy more significant numbers of A380s? They have the market, the airports, the routes and the money.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 07:30
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Originally Posted by Monarch Man
In practice when I’m rotating in my 777, the 777 behind me receives a takeoff clearance, and so on and so on, diverging SIDS are planned so one turns left, the next turns right
In practice when I'm rotating in my 380, the 380 behind me receives a takeoff clearance, and so on and so on.

You still have time separation behind a Triple when 320 or 737s are next in line...

Originally Posted by KenV
2. Airlines also make money moving freight in the belly. To profit in that environment requires a single deck aircraft. Double deckers tend to fill their belly with passenger luggage.

Sadly, as superb as the airplane is, the A380 violates both points 1 and 2.
I've often had 600 plus pax plus all of their bags plus 25 tonnes of freight. The 380 can carry the weight- the problem is bulky stuff like a whole Ferrari!
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 07:46
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Originally Posted by underfire
While the Lazy B keeps pumping out the 737 series, the miscues certainly have cost them dearly...757, 767, 748, and losing the C Series. The Embraer deal is a bit amusing, but C919 and ARJ21 ill have to be dealt with.
I would hardly call the 767 a miscue, with over 1,100 built so far (more prolific than the 707) and a healthy backlog of orders for new build freighters, I think a production run sustained for 40+ years is a mark of a great success!
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 08:34
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i wonder what BA will do? their 380 fleet (13?) is now quite niche
BA have stated quite a few times that they would like to enlarge their 380 fleet - if the price was right!
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 08:52
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BA have had discussions with Airbus about the A380 and a couple of other European airlines who are desperate to get rid of theirs. However they’ve told Airbus that they’ll only take them for their break even price, which would reduce the chances of a deal somewhat I would imagine. Otherwise they’re keen on the 777X due to their engine options not being manufactured by a certain Derbyshire based company. Heard all of this from as close to the source’s mouth as it’s possible to get just before a LHR-DUB flight recently.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 09:26
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Well for those of you who went to Farnborough last week the A380 was certainly centre stage - although it did seem to be a plug for Global Warming being festooned in livery forecasting that the Coral Reefs will be gone by 2050. Tours for the public inside but when I passed on Saturday it seemed to be just for the privileged few. Also the new A350-1000 which flew in the air displays doing acrobatics I hope none of you pilots do when you have real passengers aboard. I certainly didn't get the impression that its days are numbered.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 10:41
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The economics are a challenge if the aircraft isn't filled and fuel prices are low. So airline managers (largely risk averse, systematised creatures these days) have generally given it a wide berth. If oil goes back above $100 (and recent history has shown nobody can accurately forecast that) and the industry gains a bit of confidence then there is certainly a place for both the 380s and the smaller twins. Given a choice between economy in a 787 and an A380 I know which I would rather travel in. But passenger preference is increasingly less relevant to the industry's calculations.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 13:12
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Originally Posted by White Knight
I've often had 600 plus pax plus all of their bags plus 25 tonnes of freight. The 380 can carry the weight- the problem is bulky stuff like a whole Ferrari!
It's not a matter of mass. It's a question of volume. Passenger baggage is low density, taking up lots of space without weighing all that much. The lower lobe (cargo deck) volume of an A380 is actually LESS than 777-300ER's lower lobe volume (175.3 cuM vs 201.6 cuM). But since the A380 is a double deck above, it carries far more people so that lower lobe is filled with much more luggage, leaving little space for freight. How much freight weight can be carried depends on both the number of passengers aboard and the distance to be flown. As a comparison, according to Emirates, on the city-pairs they operate, an A380 with a full pax load the average freight capacity is 50 cuM and 8000 kgs and for a 777-300ER with a full pax load it's 125 cuM and 23,000 kg. That's a huge difference in freight capacity for the much "smaller" aircraft. And freight generates serious profits. And that's why airlines buy airplanes. To make money. And here's the troublesome part: Boeing is coming out with a bigger and significantly more efficient version of the 777 which will further shrink the A380s market niche and further shrink its profitability. The business case for stretching/upgrading the A380 is non existent, even if Airbus magically found the resources to do so.

Again, addressing the secondary market, if you turn an A380 into a high density passenger hauler serving the charter market, can you fit all the passengers' luggage into the cargo hold, or are you going to have to restrict the amount of baggage passengers can bring aboard? Crunch the numbers: an Emirates A380 in three class configuration fills 75% of its cargo volume with baggage and has 25% cargo volume margin for freight. That means a high density configuration that carries more than 25% additional passengers than the Emirates configuration will not have room for all the baggage unless there are baggage restrictions. How will that sell?

Douglas seriously looked at a double decker when they designed the MD-12. The economics did not make sense and it was never built. It seems Airbus was too intent on "one upping" Boeing and pressed ahead with a slightly bigger aircraft than the MD-12 and thus would have an even smaller (and more questionable) niche market. And so here they are, with "the best yet to come." Yah shur.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 13:13
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Originally Posted by RexBanner
BA have had discussions with Airbus about the A380 and a couple of other European airlines who are desperate to get rid of theirs. However they’ve told Airbus that they’ll only take them for their break even price, which would reduce the chances of a deal somewhat I would imagine.
Well BA is getting two more a380s soon but this time in shape of wetlease from HiFly
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 13:30
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Originally Posted by birmingham
The economics are a challenge if the aircraft isn't filled and fuel prices are low. So airline managers (largely risk averse, systematised creatures these days) have generally given it a wide berth. If oil goes back above $100.....
Very unlikely. Texas by itself is scheduled to become the world's number 3 producer of oil by 2019. The Permian Basin (west Texas) is growing very fast with oil that is profitable at $40 per barrel. The biggest constraint in the Permian is pipe capacity, and there are a number of pipelines scheduled to come on line soon. The Eagle Ford (south Texas) has even more oil than the Permian and is only slightly more expensive to drill and pump, with the costs going steadily down. Eagle Ford is in the early development stages relative to Permian, so over time there will be more and more oil available. OPEC can no longer control the price of oil and their ability to do so will only decrease over time. And that's just Texas. There is LOTS more oil in other states as well as Canada. And Trump has authorized that pipeline from Canada to the Texas coast that Obama killed.

The demand for oil is rising steadily. But the supply is rising faster. That means steady or declining prices.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 14:15
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The economics are a challenge if the aircraft isn't filled and fuel prices are low.
Can you explain why low fuel fuel prices work against the A380? Given that it is a thirsty bird with four engines burning compared to say the B777 or B787 or A350?
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 14:34
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The charter market for the A380 is limited by the airports that can support it. That is why Boeing is going to fold the wings on the 777. It’s not fun to sit burning fuel for 10 extra minutes waiting for a A380 coming the other way on a parallel taxiway and that’s at JFK! The fact they seem to taxi at 5 knots does not help.
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Old 25th Jul 2018, 06:54
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Given that it is a thirsty bird with four engines burning compared to say the B777 or B787 or A350?
Of course it is more thirsty, it is bigger.
If fully loaded and on the mission it is designed for, the a380 burns less fuel per passenger than the 777. 787/A350 are newer design with newer technology, so they do indeed burn less per passenger.
It is not the number of engines, and if exceeding a certain size, there is no other option than having 4 engines.

Given a choice between economy in a 787 and an A380 I know which I would rather travel in.
Given the choice between a non-stop flight on a 787 and a flight via a hub to fill an A380 I would exactly know what I would travel in: In the A350 nonstop

But since the A380 is a double deck above, it carries far more people so that lower lobe is filled with much more luggage, leaving little space for freight.
There probably is agood reason (or actually two more...) why Boeing never changed the 747 to full double deck. Looking at the dreamlifter, they may have been able to do so, but actually it does not make sense.
Airbus once had a major market advantage for the A300 compared to the Boeing products, because they offered more cargo space which allowed the airlines to do additional profit. On the A380 they did the opposite, and it hurts. Initially they went for a conventional environmental control arrangement, but later moved it to the wing roots to gain some more cargo space. They also (compared to the 747) selected a body gear arrangement which allows additional cargo space between, still it is not that much.

That is why Boeing is going to fold the wings on the 777.
They still have to proof that this does not only look like a clever design, but actually works in real service life... Adding complexity rarely pays off.
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Old 25th Jul 2018, 10:51
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I'm going to go out on a limb and say both the 747 and A380 will continue on for a very long time. The 747 will get some further tweeks, the A380 will get a longer fuselage. Airport planners in Asia are already talking about designs for airports and terminals which will see 500+ million pax per year. The new twins are magnificent air frames, but they are not the 747 or A380. Their demise is greatly exaggerated to paraphrase the well know quote.
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Old 25th Jul 2018, 11:04
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Originally Posted by Volume
There probably is a good reason (or actually two more...) why Boeing never changed the 747 to full double deck. Looking at the dreamlifter, they may have been able to do so, but actually it does not make sense.
The dreamlifter is mostly non pressurized, so not applicable. Boeing chose to stretch the 747 fuselage rather than just extend the upper deck because they wanted to increase passenger AND freight capacity. Extending just the upper deck increases passenger capacity while reducing freight capacity.


Airbus once had a major market advantage for the A300 compared to the Boeing products, because they offered more cargo space which allowed the airlines to do additional profit. On the A380 they did the opposite, and it hurts. Initially they went for a conventional environmental control arrangement, but later moved it to the wing roots to gain some more cargo space.
In Boeing aircraft "a conventional environmental control arrangement" puts the system in the wing to body fairings OUTside of the fuselage, so it does not reduce cargo hold capacity.

They also (compared to the 747) selected a body gear arrangement which allows additional cargo space between, still it is not that much.
That's the big advantage of the 777 vis a vis cargo space. There is no body gear. With the exception of the centerwing structure, the entire lower lobe is available for cargo. No gear retracting into the body.


They still have to proof that this does not only look like a clever design, but actually works in real service life... Adding complexity rarely pays off.
The folding wing design on the 777X is exceptionally simple. The flap system on a 747 is far far more complex and "actually works in real service life." For that matter the landing gear retraction/extension system on a typical airliner is far more complex than the 777's wing fold mechanism and they certainly "actually work in real service life."

Last edited by KenV; 25th Jul 2018 at 15:05.
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Old 25th Jul 2018, 11:10
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Originally Posted by nomorecatering
I'm going to go out on a limb and say both the 747 and A380 will continue on for a very long time. The 747 will get some further tweeks, the A380 will get a longer fuselage. Airport planners in Asia are already talking about designs for airports and terminals which will see 500+ million pax per year. The new twins are magnificent air frames, but they are not the 747 or A380. Their demise is greatly exaggerated to paraphrase the well know quote.
You may be right, but on the other hand......
1. The 747-8I (the passenger model) is essentially done. Only 747-8Fs are selling.
2. The business case for stretching the A380 is non existent. The base design needs to be profitable before major upgrades like new engines or stretch configurations can even be contemplated. And the base design is simply not making a profit for Airbus.
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