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-   -   Airbus: A380 has a weight problem (https://www.pprune.org/tech-log/136496-airbus-a380-has-weight-problem.html)

SLuca 5th Jul 2004 18:58

Airbus: A380 has a weight problem
Overweight superjumbo won't guzzle, Airbus vows
July 5, 2004
Associated Press WorldStream

Airbus SAS conceded Monday what aviation watchers have long suspected: The European aircraft maker's new A380 superjumbo has a weight problem.

According to the company's own projections, an Airbus spokeswoman said, the largest commercial airliner ever built will weigh 290 metric tons (319 short tons) _ about 5 percent heavier than the previous target.

The figures were first reported in Monday's edition of German weekly Der Spiegel, citing internal Airbus documents.

"These are our working assumptions," Kracht said when questioned about the report.

The weight of an aircraft has a direct impact on its fuel efficiency, a key benchmark for airlines deciding what planes to buy.

But Kracht insisted that the A380 Airbus will still meet its fuel efficiency target _ 131 kilometers (81 miles) for one gallon of kerosene per passenger _ when the plane goes into service in spring 2006.

"That remains the objective and remains what we will match," she said.

Airbus and U.S. rival Boeing Co. are going head-to-head with very different visions for the future of commercial aviation.

Airbus _ which delivered more planes than Boeing for the first time in 2003 _ sees a market for superjumbos carrying passengers via major regional and connecting flights. Boeing is meanwhile staking its future on direct point-to-point routes serviced by its 217-seater 7E7 "Dreamliner," to be launched in 2008.

Both companies, however, are betting on improved efficiency to win over the airlines.

According to Kracht, Airbus could compensate for the A380's bulge by improving aerodynamic performance to maintain fuel efficiency.

"Even assuming it was slightly heavier but on the other side you have better aerodynamics, the end result is that you are meeting performance," she said.

Another option could be to squeeze more weight out of plane parts and furnishings such as passenger seats, galleys and toilets. But analysts say components have already been pared to a minimum, with lighter composite materials accounting for a full 20 percent of the A380.

Notso Fantastic 5th Jul 2004 19:22

Has any new aeroplane ever not come in a bit overweight? My mother set out with a planned weight for me in mind. I have come in above planned weight. I wasn't scrapped. Will the A380 get scrapped? So what is the point- this discovering on every aircraft ever made that it is a bit heavier than planned?

BahrainLad 5th Jul 2004 19:33

I believe a number of recent releases from the northwest of the big country, including the latest one flying for Air France, have come in under planned weight.

CargoOne 5th Jul 2004 20:29

5% OEW difference for A380 means something like 14 tons. It is the weight of 130 pax or 14 tons cargo or fuel for 500 nm.

Notso Fantastic 5th Jul 2004 20:49

They will trim most of it back- they always do. Prepare to go on polystyrene johns, overhead bins a bit lighter, pilots without carpets, F/C bar gone- they set the weasels in the factory trimming things down a bit. Not unusual- I bet the 747 was overweight right at the beginning.

Fox3snapshot 5th Jul 2004 21:43

Surely with the removal of all the steel cutlary from most airlines the AUW must have been reduced significantly, not to mention the reduction of detergents at the catering facilities and reduction of the polluting in the waterways and the subsequent water savings from not having to wash up and the....

woops sorry just being silly....

M.Mouse 5th Jul 2004 21:57

...which are indeed major savings offset by the use of non-biodegradable cutlery made from an oil based product.

Useless at what it was designed for anyway, plastic cutlery that is not the A380!

I am really looking forward to arriving in Mumbai immigration at the same time as two A380s. By the time the passengers are processed it will be time to leave again.:D

Buster Hyman 5th Jul 2004 22:44

If they prohibit the Tech crew from taking their wallets on board, that should get it over the line!:p

dicksynormous 5th Jul 2004 23:16

"airbus has a weight problem"

So do i mate.

bombshell 5th Jul 2004 23:30

Perhaps issuing the pax a fast acting laxative a couple of hours before flight will help to loose the extra Kgs!!!! ;)

fire wall 6th Jul 2004 04:11

They will trim most of it back- they always do.

and a recent example of the above from Airbus would be ???????
There is none.....in the latest fopar they trimmed a bucket load out of the undercairrage of the 340-600 only to have it fail the RTO test and so had to beef up the brakes/undercairrage.

Kratch is playing the media for fools.....5% overweight but we will still meet effeciency targets. Right! Question....Have Airbus ever brought an aircraft to market that matches the performance figures in the glossy brochure? Non.

Why do you think a certain Asian 1 world carrier is doing HK NYC HK with a bucket load of empty seats in the 340 on the return sector.....because Airbus said it would carry "X" payload both ways regardless of the season/winds.......and so every time it does not the finance department get a nice little cheque in the mail with a postmark from Toulouse. If not then they would use the 400 which will do the job both ways, winter or summer schedule.

Airbubba 6th Jul 2004 04:21

Well, if it can't make the performance numbers and has a questionable safety record, they can always convert it to a freighter like the MD-11...

Ignition Override 6th Jul 2004 04:30

The mainstream media in Europe only just now found out about it?

It was reported over two or three weeks ago in a long article in the (US) Wall Street Journal. It featured a design engineer and his problems with the production of certain plastic parts, and his responsibility for a specific amount of weight reduction. It seems that the new production process is a challenge to the factory workers.

Weight problem? How about an evacuation problem combined with a collapsed main/nose gear (with real passengers instead of well-rehearsed Airbus staff with family members...), and/or in very high winds? High winds and wet weather contribute to many accidents. Many more people would ride in the upper deck than on a 744. :ouch: :ugh: There can be no connection between this topic and the other one on Rumours and News, by Dagger Dirk: "It doesn't pay to be a whistleblower...". :hmm:

Romeo Delta 6th Jul 2004 05:28

A380, 757, whatever...
Growing up in Seattle, I distinctly remember it was BIG NEWS that the 757 was well overweight (as I, too, have been, but it hasn't been big news). They even had a slogan: "WIP the Weight!", and were asking all the local schools, from colleges to high schools to middle schools to come up with any sort of crazy idea to make the plane lighter.

I guess it worked.

Could Airbus ask all the visitors to Disney Paris to come up with ideas? Maybe some crazy vacationer will have he answer.


Fly3 6th Jul 2004 13:16

fire wall
"If not then they would use the 400 which will do the job both ways, winter or summer schedule."
As a 744 captain I can assure you that ours could not.

747FOCAL 6th Jul 2004 14:30

Silberfuchs, And the safety margins as well..................:E

Toulouse 7th Jul 2004 10:19

Weight problem? How about an evacuation problem combined with a collapsed main/nose gear (with real passengers instead of well-rehearsed Airbus staff with family members...),
Ignition Override:

Just wanted to know where do you get your facts? Is it not better to only give well informed opinions? What's the point in your post? Trying to make people think Airbus doesn't care about safety? Rather sensationalist, wouldn't you say?

In this particular point I would like to give my opinion, which I consider to be rather well informed. Obviously not saying it's gospel, as nothing ever is in life, but I believe it's fairly solid.

A few months ago my wife was asked to participate in a an evacuation drill. She was given a list of strict rules to follow. She was told no prior training was permitted. The aircraft type and any other details of the emergency trial were not disclosed as this would only render the trial less realistic. Obviously, certain health questions were asked, as Airbus does obviously have to ensure this type of activity is not going to endanger the participants. She would not have been allowed participate if she had taken part in another similar exercise in the past X number of years (I think it was 2, but not sure). Anyway, in the end, due to her professional obligations regarding the the safety and customer satisfaction of all AIrbus planes up in the air, at the last moment she had to cancel her participation, and thus a substitute was sought in the last moment. So, as you can see, Airbus certainly don't, in this case anyway, use WELL-REHEARSED employeed for these type of highly important drills.

Get your facts straight.


Cap 56 7th Jul 2004 11:17

I know it is silly but I have a go anyway.

What about in-flight refueling for commercial airliners?

Airborne petrol stations that take credit cards ?

Tajfa 7th Jul 2004 15:10

In-flight refuelling???
Don't know if you're a math major Cap 56 - don't really think so. Me thinks that's not really necessary to grasp the consept of "soaring fuel prices", do you?

Just imagine what a "flying petrol station" would cost to operate. Me thinks the fuel prices are "high" enough for our employers already.

Or what?......

Cap 56 7th Jul 2004 15:17

This is just PPRuNe my friend, where is your sense of humour.

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