Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Tech Log
Reload this Page >

A380 "Too Big" Say Two Airline Execs

Tech Log The very best in practical technical discussion on the web

A380 "Too Big" Say Two Airline Execs

Old 18th May 2004, 14:38
  #101 (permalink)  

Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The home of Dudley Dooright-Where the lead dog is the only one that gets a change of scenery.
Posts: 2,132
Thumbs up Computerize this.

To: 747FOCAL

Do you think they can quantify human nature and what one person would do to another to survive and what effect it would have on the evacuation process.

Also while they are at it have them quantify the loss in human lives when an A-380 is lost. I figure it would be around 4 Billion dollars US. There are not too many airline insurance companies that can take a hit like that. The 4 Billion figure is based on 5 Million per passenger and in the States it can go a lot higher. If blame can be assessed against one company it would bankrupt them.

Just a thought.

Lu Zuckerman is offline  
Old 18th May 2004, 14:40
  #102 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: The Attic
Posts: 228

Is it just me or are you actually looking to stir shit in every single topic that comes up when you search for "Airbus"?

Ontopic: Airbus is already experimenting with other systems to evacuate passengers from the upper decks that are safer than the traditional inflatable slide, like the ones used on oil rigs and some high buildings to get people off safely from much greater heights.

I saw it on ZDF the other day on a docu about the A380... see if you can find it, it's bound to be in their mediathek on www.zdf.de somewhere. Pity if you can't read/understand German
A-FLOOR is offline  
Old 18th May 2004, 14:51
  #103 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Skagness on the beach
Posts: 882

It is in my nature to stir things up. I like to throw things out to see how people react. I do it to both Airbus and Boeing.

Is there a problem with pointing out the truth?

I thought this was a place of aviation discussion. PAX evac is something everybody on this forum is or should be concerned with.

It makes no difference, I was already told by the head of the SACO office that the FAA is not going for the simulation. They are going to make them do it just like everybody else regardless of the risk of injury. I say good.

You don't want the first actual test being done under actual emergency conditions.

Last edited by 747FOCAL; 18th May 2004 at 15:34.
747FOCAL is offline  
Old 18th May 2004, 22:50
  #104 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,242
Lu, regarding the insurance aspect. The passenger legal liability insurance of most airlines will be thinly spread around the world insurance markets you can be sure of that! Those operating the A380 will be no exception. The premium payable is calculated on Revenue Passenger Kilometres, (RPK), travelled per annum for the airline concerned. The original placing of the insurance will be shared among many, many underwriters and then re-insured out a few times as well, this is so designed that when a disaster comes no one goes bust. Airlines with USA exposure have to pay a higher premium based on the extent of that exposure which has to be declared to underwriters when the policy is placed or renewed.
BlueEagle is offline  
Old 19th May 2004, 14:57
  #105 (permalink)  

Grandpa Aerotart
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SWP
Posts: 4,620
I have no doubt that the rules will be manipulated to get A380 certified evac wise. Beancounters and Pollies can be relied on for few things but this is one of them.

Airlines who have a need will buy A380 in sufficient numbers, I believe, to make the aircraft a commercial success...certainly when you take frieghters into consideration.

Beancounters will just not be able to resist puting twice as many/as much behind the same numbers of pilots. Once again Airbus are building a beancounters aeroplane..


I still think there will be a MASSIVE market for 'off piste' direct flights with 200-250 seaters....more than enough for boeing and sparebus to make a good living from.

And as the thought of crewing an A380 leaves me completely cold I'll happily see out my career 'off piste'...hopefully in a Boeing..I really like the 767-300er and the 777s/7e7s look the ducks nuts as well.

Chimbu chuckles is offline  
Old 19th May 2004, 15:52
  #106 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Skagness on the beach
Posts: 882
Here are some links on the A380 and PAX evac:

Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF)

ICAO Paper

Airbus in fear of a full scale evac test

The real doozy..... This link is of the simulation software in action. Look how many people they expect to be on a slide at one time. Fat chance of that happening.


VLTA paper

ps. Chimbu chuckles - Unless the head of the Seattle FAA office is missinformed they have already decided. If Airbus wants the A380 to fly in the USA they must complete a full evac test per the FARs. Once you start down the path of cutting corners the dam bursts. They aren't going to go there with safety.

Here is the current FAR:

Sec. 25.803 Emergency evacuation.

(a) Each crew and passenger area must have emergency means to allow
rapid evacuation in crash landings, with the landing gear extended as
well as with the landing gear retracted, considering the possibility of
the airplane being on fire.
(b) [Reserved]
(c) For airplanes having a seating capacity of more than 44
passengers, it must be shown that the maximum seating capacity,
including the number of crewmembers required by the operating rules for
which certification is requested, can be evacuated from the airplane to
the ground under simulated emergency conditions within 90 seconds.
Compliance with this requirement must be shown by actual demonstration
using the test criteria outlined in appendix J of this part unless the
Administrator finds that a combination of analysis and testing will
provide data equivalent to that which would be obtained by actual
(d)-(e) [Reserved]

Appendix J to Part 25--Emergency Evacuation

The following test criteria and procedures must be used for showing
compliance with Sec. 25.803:
(a) The emergency evacuation must be conducted either during the
dark of the night or during daylight with the dark of night simulated.
If the demonstration is conducted indoors during daylight hours, it must
be conducted with each window covered and each door closed to minimize
the daylight effect. Illumination on the floor or ground may be used,
but it must be kept low and shielded against shining into the airplane's
windows or doors.
(b) The airplane must be in a normal attitude with landing gear
(c) Unless the airplane is equipped with an off-wing descent means,
stands or ramps may be used for descent from the wing to the ground.
Safety equipment such as mats or inverted life rafts may be placed on
the floor or ground to protect participants. No other equipment that is
not part of the emergency evacuation equipment of the airplane may be
used to aid the participants in reaching the ground.
(d) Except as provided in paragraph (a) of this appendix, only the
airplane's emergency lighting system may provide illumination.
(e) All emergency equipment required for the planned operation of
the airplane must be installed.
(f) Each external door and exit, and each internal door or curtain,
must be in the takeoff configuration.
(g) Each crewmember must be seated in the normally assigned seat for
takeoff and must remain in the seat until receiving the signal for
commencement of the demonstration. Each crewmember must be a person
having knowledge of the operation of exits and emergency equipment and,
if compliance with Sec. 121.291 is also being demonstrated,

[[Page 556]]

each flight attendant must be a member of a regularly scheduled line
(h) A representative passenger load of persons in normal health must
be used as follows:
(1) At least 40 percent of the passenger load must be female.
(2) At least 35 percent of the passenger load must be over 50 years
of age.
(3) At least 15 percent of the passenger load must be female and
over 50 years of age.
(4) Three life-size dolls, not included as part of the total
passenger load, must be carried by passengers to simulate live infants 2
years old or younger.
(5) Crewmembers, mechanics, and training personnel, who maintain or
operate the airplane in the normal course of their duties, may not be
used as passengers.
(i) No passenger may be assigned a specific seat except as the
Administrator may require. Except as required by subparagraph (g) of
this paragraph, no employee of the applicant may be seated next to an
emergency exit.
(j) Seat belts and shoulder harnesses (as required) must be
(k) Before the start of the demonstration, approximately one-half of
the total average amount of carry-on baggage, blankets, pillows, and
other similar articles must be distributed at several locations in
aisles and emergency exit access ways to create minor obstructions.
(l) No prior indication may be given to any crewmember or passenger
of the particular exits to be used in the demonstration.
(m) The applicant may not practice, rehearse, or describe the
demonstration for the participants nor may any participant have taken
part in this type of demonstration within the preceding 6 months.
(n) The pretakeoff passenger briefing required by Sec. 121.571 may
be given. The passengers may also be advised to follow directions of
crewmembers but not be instructed on the procedures to be followed in
the demonstration.
(o) If safety equipment as allowed by paragraph (c) of this appendix
is provided, either all passenger and cockpit windows must be blacked
out or all of the emergency exits must have safety equipment in order to
prevent disclosure of the available emergency exits.
(p) Not more than 50 percent of the emergency exits in the sides of
the fuselage of an airplane that meets all of the requirements
applicable to the required emergency exits for that airplane may be used
for the demonstration. Exits that are not to be used in the
demonstration must have the exit handle deactivated or must be indicated
by red lights, red tape, or other acceptable means placed outside the
exits to indicate fire or other reason why they are unusable. The exits
to be used must be representative of all of the emergency exits on the
airplane and must be designated by the applicant, subject to approval by
the Administrator. At least one floor level exit must be used.
(q) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, all
evacuees must leave the airplane by a means provided as part of the
airplane's equipment.
(r) The applicant's approved procedures must be fully utilized,
except the flightcrew must take no active role in assisting others
inside the cabin during the demonstration.
(s) The evacuation time period is completed when the last occupant
has evacuated the airplane and is on the ground. Provided that the
acceptance rate of the stand or ramp is no greater than the acceptance
rate of the means available on the airplane for descent from the wing
during an actual crash situation, evacuees using stands or ramps allowed
by paragraph (c) of this appendix are considered to be on the ground
when they are on the stand or ramp.

[Amdt. 25-72, 55 FR 29788, July 20, 1990, as amended by Amdt. 25-79,
Aug. 26, 1993]

If my info is correct there will be only 3 usable doors on the upper deck during the test. Without taking time to open the doors and deploy the slides 200 people through 3 doors will require each person to be up from their seat to the door and down the slide in 1.3 seconds.

Last edited by 747FOCAL; 19th May 2004 at 16:22.
747FOCAL is offline  
Old 20th May 2004, 10:10
  #107 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Cheshire
Posts: 191
Christ. Let get real here.

I don't care how long/steep/deflated the slide is. If it's a choice between burning to death in an alloy tube, and breaking both my legs/pelvis/back/skull, well, I'll die trying to get out thankyou. Hell, I'd step out of that thing even if there were NO SLIDE. I suspect put in a real evac situation, most people would do the same.

I'm sure airbus will keep trying until they get it certified.
BigHitDH is offline  
Old 20th May 2004, 12:21
  #108 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Skagness on the beach
Posts: 882

I think they will run out of trial people since none of the test participants can have been involved in any practice or test for the prior 6 months. If they have a lot of injuries during the first test or heaven forbid somebody dies, they will have a real hard time finding participants.

Going by the math, it can't be done. Especially if they want to sell it in Japan where they won't have a three class setup it will be all cattle class and that means doing a test with 800 people on board. That probably means at least 300 will be up top. That makes the math even worse.

ps. The test won't be conducted with an airplane that is on fire so the participants that are being asked to jump, in pitch black or very little light, into a black hole they can't see the bottom of, but they know they are almost 40 ft in the air. RRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGHHHHHHHTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!
747FOCAL is offline  
Old 20th May 2004, 18:28
  #109 (permalink)  
Bear Behind
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Yerp
Posts: 350

I note you haven't answered a non-technical question (on 747 sales before first flight) on another forum, so I'll try a different one here.

Care to tell us all about the exceptions through grandfather rights on the 744 and the 737NG?

Each time I ask a Boeing guy (with whom I'm in daily contact) about these things, the issue just gets skirted around.

It really starts to look a bit like glass houses and stones after a while, doesn't it?
panda-k-bear is offline  
Old 20th May 2004, 19:19
  #110 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Skagness on the beach
Posts: 882
panda-k-bear- Not sure I understand what your asking?
747FOCAL is offline  
Old 20th May 2004, 22:19
  #111 (permalink)  
Bear Behind
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Yerp
Posts: 350
Well there are those (and you have to admit it, 747Focal, you are one of the number) who hammer the A380 - and are perhaps justified in being a little sceptical. What's not justified is knocking it at every turn, really.

Especially when some Seattle products have been exempted from later legislation due to grandfather rights (or perhaps great-grandfather rights if we go back through the mid-life updates). That would mean that they aren't so perfect either and perhaps couldn't be certificated in today's environment.

I'm asking just what exemptions have been granted due to grandfather rights that would pose a challenge if the certification were to be done afresh today. The relevance? Well, Boeing has challenges to and would face more challenges with older designs today. Not so perfect....

Don't get me wrong - both Seattle and Toulouse churn out fantastic aircraft. Evac. on the A380 will be a challenge, I'm sure, but come on, let's not over-dramatise with guff about people being killed during the tests and therefore stopping anyone else from wanting to take part in further tests. This is the worst kind of journo. type scaremongering. Maybe you're biased, but it's in everyone's interest that there are 2 manufacturers out there (and preferably more), or Airbus wouldn't bother with the A380 and Boeing wouldn't bother with the 7E7 - everything would just stagnate.

And if we're talking about certification challenges, how about a TiGr composite fuse and wing in service by 2008?!
panda-k-bear is offline  
Old 21st May 2004, 09:14
  #112 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Fantasy Island
Posts: 555
I seem to recall Boeing getting a special exemption not to have to install a 3rd overwing exit on the 737-900.

Airbus on the other hand built a prototype A340-600 with no overwing exit but was forced to reinstate it on the production model by regulatory pressure.

As always, it cuts both ways.
BahrainLad is offline  
Old 21st May 2004, 14:29
  #113 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1998
Location: Escapee from Ultima Thule
Posts: 4,230
How is it different evacuating a 747 upper deck configured for economy compared to the A380? Apart from 4'.

In both cases there's a large number of people sliding a long way. If it's do-able for the 747 then it's just as do-able for the A380. There's a limit in both cases for ratio of exits vs pax.
Tinstaafl is offline  
Old 21st May 2004, 15:16
  #114 (permalink)  
Bear Behind
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Yerp
Posts: 350
What about NG birdstrike protection? What about a fatigue tested wing? What about sudden decompression protection? What about cabin direct view rules? All, of course, to the mid-90s standards, and not those of the mid-60s.

Should I go on? These are all questions that I'd love to have an answer to.... and answers are not forthcoming from Seattle.

Now, let's talk again about the A380. It will HAVE to pass an evac test if it is to ever be sold to a U.S. airline. As there's really only 1 making use of 747s today in any decent numbers an who doesn't have most of it's fleet parked in the desert, maybe that's no big thing. However, I'm sure the EASA will insist as well, won't they? As BahrainLad sasy, the forerunner of the EASA demanded that the 346 be reworked, so they are tight about that sort of thing. If it has to be done, I'm sure it will be done.

I note with interest that the stones from the glasshouse have stopped (temporarily).
panda-k-bear is offline  
Old 21st May 2004, 15:57
  #115 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Skagness on the beach
Posts: 882

Your right, in todays environment, several of the older Boeing designs would have trouble certificating today. But, Boeing does not make those airplanes anymore. All of the newer models meet the latest standards.


How different is the 747 passenger evac from the A380?

Try 180 more souls. If you do the math. Following the FARs for passenger evac certification. You will have:

3 of the six doors blocked. 3 working doors.
Half the baggage from the bins blocking half the aisles.
That means, and this is not taking into account that somebody has to get the doors open(maybe finding that the door they have opened is blocked), deploy the slides, and then 200 people have to make it to the ground. Broken down into numbers:

200 / 3(doors) = 66.67 people per door 66.67 / 90(seconds) = 0.7 people per door a second.

All the while this is in almost complete dark and you can't practice.

Regarding the composites of the 7E7. I think making the whole airplane out of composite is insanity. Everyone that has tried to do that has failed. A composite fuselage, yes. But the wings and nacelles, no. To many dispatch related problems everytime somebody has made a composite nacelle.
747FOCAL is offline  
Old 21st May 2004, 17:45
  #116 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Seattle
Posts: 3,113
I seem to recall Boeing getting a special exemption not to have to install a 3rd overwing exit on the 737-900.
I believe you recall incorrectly.

IIRC, Boeing asked for an exemption so they could keep the single overwing exits on the -900. However, the JAA (or whoever made the call in Europe at the time) refused, supposedly due to Airbus lobbying. Therefore, Boeing spent a huge amount of $$ re-engineering the -900 for the dual overwing exits. The structural aspect was NOT straightforward...

AFAIK, there was never a requirement for a 3rd overwing exit on the -900.
Intruder is offline  
Old 22nd May 2004, 09:54
  #117 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Fantasy Island
Posts: 555
Nonsense....the -400 and -800 have two overwing exits (on each side) so Boeing never proposed only having one each side for the 900. What redesign!?

Despite the fact that the 737-900 has over 9% more cabin space than the -800, it's still limited to the -800 maximum of 189 pax for evac purposes, because of only having the 2 exits.

If Boeing want to stuff 220 pax into the 900X, they'll have to add another (3rd) overwing exit. But they've recognised this....
BahrainLad is offline  
Old 22nd May 2004, 11:50
  #118 (permalink)  
Bear Behind
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Yerp
Posts: 350
But as far as I know, the -900X isn't proposed with a 3rd overwing, but rather an additional type I door aft of the wing deratable to type III with lower seating densities (i.e. true 2 class), is it not? Even with the additional door, surely the airplane isn't long enough to get 220 seats in, but more around 205-210, I'd have thought (and that in a European charter type configuration).

747Focal - I still maintain that the 737NG has exceptions due to grandfather rights in the areas that I mentioned - can you tell me with 100% certainty that that is not true? If so, then I fail to understand why the Seattle engineers have been cagey about answering exactly those points - i.e. what those exceptions actually are.
panda-k-bear is offline  
Old 24th May 2004, 00:21
  #119 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Skagness on the beach
Posts: 882

Not to be evasive, but if you read the FARs, aircraft that share the same Type Certificate, do not have to meat the latest ammendments in some cases. The rules were designed that way to help the manufacturers save money as well as the FAA on bookkeeping.

I say lets just wait and see though I think the mark is on the door. Anyone can build a great airplane that meets everything but one criteria and that criteria sinks the boat.
747FOCAL is offline  
Old 24th May 2004, 00:46
  #120 (permalink)  

Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The home of Dudley Dooright-Where the lead dog is the only one that gets a change of scenery.
Posts: 2,132
Thumbs up Tain't necessarily so. At least not in Canada.

To: 747FOCAL

Not to be evasive, but if you read the FARs, aircraft that share the same Type Certificate, do not have to meat the latest ammendments in some cases. The rules were designed that way to help the manufacturers save money as well as the FAA on bookkeeping.
I worked on the certification of the Canadair CL 604 and Bombardier tried to grandfather it for certification on the basis of three previous designs. The 604 was a more advanced design and the Canadian certification authorities refused Bombardier and made them completely redo all of the certification documents including the reliability assessment, the FMECA and the safety hazards analyses.

I also worked on the A-310 and the A-320 and in order to gain Canadian certification the FMECAs and the safety hazards analyses had to go to the smallest part in a component. I may be wrong and quite often I am but I would assume that the Canadians would require that certification not be granted on the basis of similar design and that Boeing would have to redo the documents for the previous designs.

Lu Zuckerman is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.