Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Another A380 Woe?

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Another A380 Woe?

Old 29th Oct 2018, 18:08
  #61 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: New Braunfels, TX
Age: 67
Posts: 1,954
Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
In other words, the Emirates "order" isn't an order in any generally accepted sense of the word.
What definition are you using? Boeing and Airbus took orders for several hundreds of 787s, A350s, 747-8s, A320NEOs, 737MAXs, and A330NEOs while those aircraft were still in development and well before those aircraft entered production, just like the enhanced A380. Every one of those programs (except the 747-8) required the engine manufacturers to make huge investments in new/enhanced engines. What makes the A380 different is that Airbus is unable to get enough orders for the enhanced A380 to get the engine manufacturers to agree to invest in the engine improvements needed to make the enhanced version possible. And now that one engine manufacturer has publicly stated they flat out won't invest and the other has said they are very unlikely to make the needed investments, Airbus is having even greater difficulty selling the airplane. In other words, they're now caught in a catch 22 that will be difficult to break out of. Will they be able to get Emirates to accept the standard A380 instead? Maybe. Maybe not. But one reason Emirates insisted on the enhanced version was to make sure the A380 had a future. An airplane with no upgrade path is a poor long term investment. Emirates may have to gradually change their business model/route planning to account for the eventual demise of the A380.
KenV is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2018, 18:58
  #62 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 12,618
Originally Posted by KenV View Post
What definition are you using?
I'm using "order" in the sense of an agreement between an airline and a manufacturer for the supply of something that the latter is prepared to deliver.

The A380 Plus doesn't currently fall into that category, and probably won't ever.
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2018, 19:12
  #63 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: attitude is nominal
Posts: 1,232
So you think Emirates will only sign their next batch order if some “A380plus” should become available for them right now?
Less Hair is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2018, 19:28
  #64 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 12,618
Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
So you think Emirates will only sign their next batch order if some “A380plus” should become available for them right now?
No, I think precisely the opposite.

With no realistic prospect of an A380 Plus, Emirates will order more of the current aircraft.
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2018, 23:43
  #65 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Age: 55
Posts: 1,682
Originally Posted by KenV View Post
But one reason Emirates insisted on the enhanced version was to make sure the A380 had a future. An airplane with no upgrade path is a poor long term investment.
Where did you find this in publicly available information ? Or are you with EK / Airbus ?

AFAIK there are no "official" details on the specifics of said order. Happy to be disproved.
atakacs is online now  
Old 30th Oct 2018, 11:40
  #66 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 346
Originally Posted by KenV View Post
The Emirates order is for the version with improved engines and other upgrades.
The Emirates order does not however include any engines, so the claimed order is not as stated above.
GrahamO is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2018, 11:45
  #67 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: UK
Age: 71
Posts: 54
The A380 is an ugly elephant of a plane, and I wouldn't underestimate the effect this has on its sales. For investors, airlines, countries, and passengers, travel is not just about money and statistics .... you are supposed to be setting sail on a voyage ....
Europeans have become very mental of late and lost their passion.
rideforever is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2018, 14:56
  #68 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New York City
Posts: 49
Originally Posted by rideforever View Post
The A380 is an ugly elephant of a plane, and I wouldn't underestimate the effect this has on its sales. For investors, airlines, countries, and passengers, travel is not just about money and statistics .... you are supposed to be setting sail on a voyage ....
Europeans have become very mental of late and lost their passion.
I really hope that you're being sarcastic.
RufusXS is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2018, 15:02
  #69 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: jersey
Age: 71
Posts: 1,277
Originally Posted by rideforever View Post
The A380 is an ugly elephant of a plane, and I wouldn't underestimate the effect this has on its sales. For investors, airlines, countries, and passengers, travel is not just about money and statistics .... you are supposed to be setting sail on a voyage ....
Europeans have become very mental of late and lost their passion.
Oh no it isn’t. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - & in this beholder’s eye, it is beautiful. Not only that but, it is the best & most comfortable aeroplane to fly in. I don’t ever expect it to happen, but I wish many more airlines would order it, or extend their existing fleets.
kcockayne is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2018, 15:29
  #70 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Southampton
Posts: 110
Originally Posted by KenV View Post
R-R has just announced that 36 shipsets (about 150 engines including spares) is not nearly enough to cover the costs to upgrade the Trent 900, so they are unlikely to invest in the upgrade either.
Out of interest, how many engine sales would be needed to make the R&D viable?
Could the upgraded engine be used in other aircraft to provide additional sales?
Tech Guy is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2018, 15:43
  #71 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New York City
Posts: 49
This is a good article from earlier this month (apologies if it's been previously posted). The article indicates that Emirates is requiring RR to meet the standards that were promised when they switched from EA to RR, so really more about fixing the existing product vs an upgrade.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...engine-impasse
RufusXS is offline  
Old 31st Oct 2018, 03:06
  #72 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Everett, WA
Age: 65
Posts: 3,126
Originally Posted by Tech Guy View Post
Out of interest, how many engine sales would be needed to make the R&D viable?
Could the upgraded engine be used in other aircraft to provide additional sales?
The R&D costs are highly variable depending on the nature of the changes. but engine changes don't come cheap. What typically happens is the engine company finds something and implements it into their newest engine design. Assuming it works out (they don't always), they may look at using it in an older engine design. Sometimes that works great and they get a significant improvement in fuel burn and/or EGT margin (which basically means time on wing) on the older engine design. Sometimes, it fails miserably (often for reasons that they never fully understand). Example - ~20 years ago GE implemented a new compressor design ('3d aero) on the GE90 - and it worked great with a big improvements in fuel burn and a corresponding drop in EGT. So GE tried to implement the same technology on the CF6-80C2 compressor - but the results were so disappointing on the CF6 that I don't think they even bothered to certify the change.

As far as being able to use the updated engine on other aircraft, there are two problems with that. First off, both the GP7000 and the Trent 900 were pretty much point designs for the A380 and are not really optimum for any of the big twins. Second, the engine designs are relatively old - the 737 (MAX), 747 (-8), 777 (X), 787, A320 (NEO), A330 (NEO), and A350 already have newer, more efficient engines available. In fact, of the currently produced large commercial airliners, the only one with engines older than the A380 is the 767 - and both the GP and Trent are too big to be suitable for the 767.
tdracer is offline  
Old 31st Oct 2018, 08:49
  #73 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 12,618
Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
First off, both the GP7000 and the Trent 900 were pretty much point designs for the A380 and are not really optimum for any of the big twins.
That's an interesting point, and clearly true in the case of those engines.

But there's no fundamental reason why an engine, or at least an engine family, can't be targeted at both big twins and 4-holers - the PW4000 and CF6 have done pretty well in both markets, for example, even arguably the GEnx.

The various members of the Trent series, on the other hand, are more akin to distant cousins than siblings.
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 31st Oct 2018, 11:39
  #74 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: attitude is nominal
Posts: 1,232
So have they finally ordered any engines for their "firm" A380s?
Less Hair is offline  
Old 31st Oct 2018, 11:52
  #75 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 346
Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
So have they finally ordered any engines for their "firm" A380s?
No they have not.
GrahamO is offline  
Old 31st Oct 2018, 15:51
  #76 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: New Braunfels, TX
Age: 67
Posts: 1,954
Originally Posted by Tech Guy View Post
Out of interest, how many engine sales would be needed to make the R&D viable?
RR has not said how many it would take, only a lot more than 36 shipsets plus spares (which would be a bit more than 150 engines)
Could the upgraded engine be used in other aircraft to provide additional sales?
No other aircraft uses either the Trent 900 or GP7200. Both are in the 75,000 to 80,000 lbf thrust class, which no other aircraft uses. The A330NEO comes close with the Trent 7000 (a variant of the Trent 1000 used on the B787-10), which is in the 68,000 to 72,000 lbf thrust class. That's the advantage the 747-8 has. It uses a variant of the GE engines that are on the 787. 747-8 also has the advantage of having a freighter version which the A380 does not. Indeed, most 747-8 are freighters. 747-8 can also fit in a 747 size hangar, which means any hangar used to mod a classic 747 can handle a 747-8. The result is that several BBJ 747-8s have been sold, including two to USAF as Air Force One replacements. The 747-8 is also built on the same line as the classic 747, so the vast majority of the tooling has already been amortized, significantly reducing costs.
KenV is offline  
Old 31st Oct 2018, 16:12
  #77 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: New Braunfels, TX
Age: 67
Posts: 1,954
Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
So have they finally ordered any engines for their "firm" A380s?
No. That's the problem. There are no engines available that fit their requirements, and it appears increasingly likely there won't ever be. So they either convert the order to the classic A380 or cancel the order and buy a different aircraft. Since Airbus was not able to deliver the promised aircraft, cancelling the order will not entail any penalties. Emirates previously cancelled their order for A350 without penalty when that aircraft failed to meet their performance promises, so this is not something new for them.
KenV is offline  
Old 31st Oct 2018, 16:19
  #78 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 12,618
Originally Posted by KenV View Post
747-8 can also fit in a 747 size hangar
If you're lucky, it will fit. The 747-8 is about 20 feet longer than its predecessors.
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 31st Oct 2018, 16:23
  #79 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: New Braunfels, TX
Age: 67
Posts: 1,954
Originally Posted by atakacs View Post
Where did you find this in publicly available information ? Or are you with EK / Airbus ?
Tim Clark, head of Emirates said the following back in 2013. So five years ago Clark was optimistic GE and RR could and would do this engine improvement. Now five years later it appears he was wrong. GE won't make the investment and RR says they need a much bigger market to commit to that investment.

AW&ST: You would like Airbus to reengine the A380. How would that work? Clark: Engine technology is going through major changes. In the fullness of time, the A380 needs to get the benefit of what is going on with midsize fans. The Leap is going to give us 18% [better fuel burn], so they say. To leave the A380 in a position where it isn't [getting more efficient] doesn't make sense. What I've said to Airbus is the A380 is a good airplane today, makes money and is popular. And the alliance engines are, by and large, OK. But the new generation of widebodies is changing the game. A lot has changed since the A380 came to market. If they crossed over some of the stuff we're seeing on the new generation of jets onto the A380, it would be a very much-improved airplane. What time frame are you talking about? 2020?

Of course, we'd like to see it sooner. I don't think it would be difficult for propulsion manufacturers—Rolls-Royce and General Electric—to do a scale-down of what's going to come out of the new jets at the back of this decade. That cannot be lost on them. If you can do it with the A320 or [Boeing] 737, you can to it to the A380. It could be a smaller version of the [GE] 9X, or a smaller version of the [Rolls-Royce] Trent that was proposed, but there has to be a 10% reduction in [specific fuel consumption] straight away in the next generation.

LINK
KenV is offline  
Old 31st Oct 2018, 16:31
  #80 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: New Braunfels, TX
Age: 67
Posts: 1,954
Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
If you're lucky, it will fit. The 747-8 is about 20 feet longer than its predecessors.
The biggest limitations are hangar door size (which limits wing span) and hangar height. With the raked wing tips off the 747-8 has the same span as classic 747 and the vertical tail is essentially identical. The 747-8 is only about 8 feet longer than the 777-300 and that additional fuselage length is (generally) not an issue.
KenV is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.