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Old 13th July 2013, 04:21   #1
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Default Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Before I begin, respected mods and admins, if this is not in the taste of the forum please delete this and pardon me for starting a new thread. My sincerent apologies if this is unfit to have been posted here.


Hello Team-BHPians,

This is my small review of the Airbus a320 long term review. This isn't actually just one airplane but about 82 different ones I have had the opportunity of flying for about 3 million kilometers.

3 Million you ask?

I have flown this magnificint airplane for over 5 years for 4,000 hours. This airplane does an average speed of 800-900KMPH during cruise and about 250KMPH during take offs and landings. I am considering an average speed of 750KMPH which works out to close to 3 million klicks.


Milage kitna deyti hai?

The thrill that a person gets to save a single drop of fuel even in an airplane is immense! The fact that one could transport about 20 tons of payload in the most efficient way is immense. The airplane perfroms like a sportscar, perhaps even better, if its completely empty.

These perticular one's usually carry about 180 passengers + 6 Crew members.


Considering all of these people were to be seated in a car, it translates to about 12 KMPL while crusing at speeds of approximately 800 to 900 kmph. Quite a fuel guzzler! This is being corrected in the 2013 models with an introduction of "sharklets"

These have enhanced the fuel savings by 4 percent. These are the curved things towards the end of the wingtips




The company is working on a newer engine which would eventually workout about 16 to 21 % fuel savings. But that's to wait until 2016, being dubbed the NEO or the new engine option! Exciting





Engine

The 320's are equipped with two engines. They can pretty much fly on one engine!

The one's I have been flying are made by a consortium of 5 companies which is why they are known as V2500. The V signifying the 5 companies involved. The engine design is about two decades old and used to generate mere 25,000 pounds of thrust. They have since been tweeked up to give out 32,500 pounds of thrust. They can run manually but usually are run using two independent computers per engine which enhance the power response and fuel burn.

So far I have not killed any geese like Captain Sully who had to ditch his airplane in the Hudson. So, I have been lucky!! And wildlife friendly



Tyres

Been on the bridgestones with nitrogen in them. Work really well! They usually last about 100 take offs and landings.


Top Speed!!

Well, I often get asked this... Pilot ji delay ho gaye ho... Thoda tezz challa deyna... Unfortunately flying is like sailing. If I am going against the stream I will be travelling slower. But, if I am going along with the flow of the river, so to speak, I'd be going faster. The fastest I have done is during winters on my way to Guwahati from Delhi.

Top speed being 1225 KMPH. Not bad at all.


Other Issues/Complains

None that ever do crop up on my mind actually.


Other joyful moments

It's always a challenge to fly around the mountains, they can be unforgiving! I am sure anyone who's been on a road-trip to Leh would agree.

But on days like these be totally worth all the efforts...
Attached Thumbnails
Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review-img2011121600057.jpg  


Last edited by aah78 : 13th July 2013 at 19:29. Reason: Please limit smileys to 2/post. Thanks!
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Old 13th July 2013, 11:55   #2
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Excellent post, would love if you can tell us more about the 320, i really admire Airbus more than Boeing. The thrill of flying really ought to be experienced, am also a commercial pilot, just waiting to get my hands on a big jet soon.
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Old 13th July 2013, 11:55   #3
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Default re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Interesting Thread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ifly View Post
Top Speed!!

The fastest I have done is during winters on my way to Guwahati from Delhi. Top speed being 1225 KMPH. Not bad at all
Isn't that more than Mach 1? Did you encounter sonic boom? Can A320 withstand one?
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Old 13th July 2013, 12:01   #4
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Default re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Fantastic ifly! But we want more! Quite a different Teambhp review, but really refreshing, informative. Please let us know some special/ unusual moments during your hauls. Agreed that you might not have much like Sully to share, but we are all ears for your day to day experiences while hauling this monster!

Also, what are the major differences between the Airbus & Boeing philosophy? I know that one lets you take more control than the other, which is more computer controlled, but that's just a layman's view. I am sure that you can add much more.

Also, do the Indian planes employ TCAS (for readers whio might not know: It is a system of mid-air collision avoidance)?

Please go on ifly, we are all ears!

Quote:
Originally Posted by directinjection View Post

Isn't that more than Mach 1? Did you encounter sonic boom? Can A320 withstand one?
DI: Actually Mach Speeds change with altitude, air density & temperature. Hence, assuming that these speeds were clocked at least 30K feet above the ground, it may not have crossed the sound barrier, hence probably no sonic boom. However, that is just my casual knowledge, am sure that people from the relevant field would help better.

Regards,
Saket

Last edited by saket77 : 13th July 2013 at 12:06.
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Old 13th July 2013, 12:06   #5
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Default re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

After reading the thread title for a moment i thought you have named your BMW 320d after Airbus 320, but when i opened the thread it indeed was the A320 aircraft

Thanks for sharing your experience of the Airbus
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Old 13th July 2013, 12:23   #6
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Default re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

This is what i love about TeamBHP.
Cars, trucks, buses, even trains.. and now a jumbo jet...
Next a container ship????

BTW, the 12km/l part looks reasonable, given the speed and weight they carry off.

And if security concerns are not there, pics would be very much appreciated..
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Old 13th July 2013, 12:33   #7
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Default re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
DI: Actually Mach Speeds change with altitude, air density & temperature.
Yes, I know that! The speed of sound is about 762 miles per hour (1226 KMPH) at sea level and gradually declines to some 660 MPH as you go up due to lower air density.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Hence, assuming that these speeds were clocked at least 30K feet above the ground, it may not have crossed the sound barrier, hence probably no sonic boom.
1225 KMPH wouldn't cross the sound barrier at sea level but "may" cross it at 30K feet. That's why I had asked the question from ifly - we do not know at what height he achieved that speed.
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Old 13th July 2013, 12:35   #8
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Default re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
Isn't that more than Mach 1? Did you encounter sonic boom? Can A320 withstand one?
Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
DI: Actually Mach Speeds change with altitude, air density & temperature. Hence, assuming that these speeds were clocked at least 30K feet above the ground, it may not have crossed the sound barrier, hence probably no sonic boom. However, that is just my casual knowledge, am sure that people from the relevant field would help better.

Regards,
Saket
Actually speed of sound decreases with altitude in general, at least upto about 65,000ft. Not many planes fly above those altitudes. In fact I can remember only three of them, the U2, the SR-71 and Mig-25s.

What he may be talking about here is indicated air speed/ground speed and not true air speed.
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Old 13th July 2013, 12:38   #9
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Default re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
DI: Actually Mach Speeds change with altitude, air density & temperature. Hence, assuming that these speeds were clocked at least 30K feet above the ground, it may not have crossed the sound barrier, hence probably no sonic boom. However, that is just my casual knowledge, am sure that people from the relevant field would help better.

Regards,
Saket
Saket, you are right in stating that the Mach Number changes with Altitude but it almost always increases with altitude unless there is a temperature inversion. That is why modern aircrafts climb with IAS ( indicated Air Speed) upto a certain altitude and then change over to Mach No.( To remain within the allowed speed envelope)

Actually, even I am curious to understand how the said speed was achieved. 1225 KMPH translates to ~ 660 Knots. The only place that this would not exceed Mach 1 is near sea level where the LSS ( local speed of sound) is marginally higher. Surely you would not be doing that speed below 10,000 AGL. At higher altitude where LSS would be much lesser you would have bust Mach 1 much sooner.What is the Mach No ( Mmo) limitation?

Not trying to quiz you but just trying to understand, thats all. On the other hand, please do upload more pics for us to enjoy.

Thanks
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Old 13th July 2013, 12:40   #10
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Default re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
What he may be talking about here is indicated air speed/ground speed and not true air speed.
Yes, right. In that case, he must be well beyond the Mach 1, isn't it? AFAIK (but would like to understand better), that planes do use Mmo on the machmeter rather than air speed, especially when nearing the sound barrier. More on it please!

Last edited by saket77 : 13th July 2013 at 12:49.
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Old 13th July 2013, 12:41   #11
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Default re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by ifly View Post
Top speed being 1225 KMPH.
Mach 1?!

Was it just momentary? Is the structure of a commercial airliner meant to withstand high speeds like this? What/how does the ATC respond when they find a flight is going at these speeds - as in, these speeds considerably lower the fuel efficiency so won't they instruct the pilot to slow down?

Even the A320 Wiki suggests the max. speed as Mach 0.82 and the cruising speed, a notch lesser at Mach 0.78.
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Old 13th July 2013, 12:42   #12
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Default re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Interesting thread!
Please share some more details on the aircraft.
Importantly the 0-100 (or should I say 250) timings
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Old 13th July 2013, 12:43   #13
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Default re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Wow! I was so glad to get my thread approved and to have you guys like it, AWESOME

What I'm rather trying to say is, Thank You!!!

@CoolBoy707
I personally like the airbus too but could be I'm biased. Although my next dream airplane would be the 777


@DirectInjection: Very good observation!! Well... There's a little bit more to it than what I had written. I mentioned air being like water, and infact for a lot of experiments one could assume air to have all the characteristics of water. Both of them are a perfect mixture.

Now, say for instance you're going in a river that is flowing from A to B at a speed of 20 kmph. You're now on a boat that has a maximum speed of say 30 kmph, because of its design, engines, etc.

You're infact maintaining 30kmph but since the river is flowing along in your direction, your relative speed becomes 50kmph. Which is extremely fast for a boat.


Same situation here, there are these things called the JetStreams. Once we enter them, they have a speed of 200 to 500 kmph... And infact when we maintain just 900kmph... The same logic above applies.

I hope I was able to explain to some extent as to what you had asked
I'm usually not too good at it



@Saket- You sir, have left me impressed. It is very few people who know that about what you just said. It may come as a pleasant surprise to you, but the Indian skies are the most stringent to fly in, making them perhaps the safest! Much more than even the US.

No airplane can fly without a TCAS here along with a host of other equipment. I like to think of the airbus and Boeing as equally good airplanes.

You could say one is like the BMW and the other like the Merc. Both are exceptionally great brands and infact epitomise the greatness of human engineering.

Imagine just for a second... Your car doing 900kmph and still giving you 12kmpl... This is something both the airbus and Boeing achieve. Isn't it amazing?

They both are amazing! Boeing just has the same school of thought and makes airplanes with options for you to fly them without protections. Think of protections like ABS and EBD.

Airbus on the other hand swears by them. Never can we switch something like ABS off. And it's does really help!!

I could never come to terms with one being better than the other. Given a chance, would all of us want both the BMW and the Merc

(Or a Lamborghini and a Massarati, etc)


@Karan - thank you

Looks like we have something in common, both drive a 320


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Last edited by bblost : 13th July 2013 at 12:53.
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Old 13th July 2013, 12:53   #14
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Default re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Excellent thread. Even I thought it was a name you gave to your BMW 3 series and was shocked to see you mention 3 million clicks on it .
Please elaborate more on all the aspects on this brilliant machine. Really interesting stuff.

BTW I have always wondered about this specially whenever my flight encounters bad monsoon weather. How do you deal with lightning? Is the craft capable of withstanding that much force?
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Old 13th July 2013, 13:01   #15
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Default re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Excellent thread. Thanks a lot for sharing. Looking forward to a lot more stories and learning from you.
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