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Old 17th January 2018, 13:10   #16
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Default Re: Days may be numbered for world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380

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Originally Posted by AMG Power View Post
I use Gatwick only for short haul flights into / from EU. On quite a few of the occasions, the train services weren't working properly and it was the Gatwick express buses that were running and these take an hour to reach central London with quite a few stops in between. Not something that happens with Heathrow.
Funny, my experience is somewhat different. During the last 18 months I travel to London about twice every months. Various location, so I choose the airport that gives me the easiest and quickest connection. Heathrow, Gatwick or City Airport. I always travel public transport, anything else is just a pain. I have experienced some delays on all lines. Heathrow has of course both a train and a tube connection these days which gives some extra options.

Somehow I always prefer Gatwick over Heathrow, but probably more for sentimental reasons then anything. Parts of it are really a bit run down these days. When we lived in Brighton it was my sort of home base for many years. In those days it was substantially smaller then Heathrow.

Doing Gatwick this coming Monday, not for London, but stopover on our way to Barbados!

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The Airbus A380 is a epic business school case study, possibly one of the best in human history and existence. It is proof that a battalion of engineers and hard work have 0 relevance in a free market economy.
I think failure of the A380 isnt an engineering issue, but as so often, the marketing folks getting it wrong in their prediction on the market developments. It has has happened many times before and it will happen again, many more time. One is an exact science (more or less), the other isnt.

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Heathrow lies about 18 miles west of Central London whereas Gatwick is about 30 miles south. Even if you are a taxi person, a taxi ride from Gatwick to Central London will cost a fortune and not to mention a very long cab ride.

Gatwick to London isn't quite a pain for me, but the fact that most trains terminate at Victoria/London Bridge means I need to travel quite a distance again to get to Central London.
Yes, my thoughts exactly. My choice of London airport is primarily where I need to be in London. I jsut don't do taxi's anymore in or around London as public transportation is just so much more convenient (unless there are disruptions of course).

On the whole I do prefer smaller airports to the large ones. Gatwick used to be the smaller (international) airport of London. I have done a few round trips from Rotterdam Airport to London City. For me ideal as we lived a mere 15 mintues drive from Rotterdam airport. Also, it's a very small airport that is run like a busstop. you show up 15 minutes prior departure, that will still get you through security and onto the plane. Very convenient.

Love the approach into London City. One of the steepest in the world!

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 17th January 2018 at 13:12.
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Old 17th January 2018, 14:32   #17
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Default Re: Days may be numbered for world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Both Boeing (with the 787 Dreamliner) and Airbus (with the A330 neo) have been doing a lot of work to make these more efficient. So, is the industry moving to a different operating model where they want mid-size aircrafts to become more efficient and phase out large-bodied aircrafts.
And the A350XWB. Large twins is what the industry demands now. With the advancements in engine technology making them more reliable and fuel efficient and a single engine providing enough thrust, which was unheard of earlier, all have helped airlines to move in this direction. The A350XWB and 77X are not exactly "small" aircrafts. It is an economic issue for the airline, if they have all the seats and cannot fill most of it. And the choice of aircraft is dictated by an airline's operating model and routes. Even now, quads are preferred for hot and high airports like Quito-Ecuador, La Paz-Bolivia, Bogota-Colombia etc, because of their performance characteristics and one engine out performance in those conditions. When most of the airline industry moved to large twins, airlines like Lufthansa made money with B747's and A340's due to their routes. So, a lot depends on the airline and their operating model.

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It also has folding wing tips to enter smaller airports!
Folding wing tips are not offered for the first time (The original 777 also had it as an option). It is offered to keep the aircraft footprint inside the 80m box. (80m box is something which the airport industry regarded as the maximum it could cope with, economically )

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Apart from this, most of these airline companies are rethinking their strategies to increase profit which calls for smaller aircrafts.
As I told earlier, not exactly smaller aircraft, but large twins. And the twins are getting larger. 777X-9 and some airlines are already demanding an A350XWB-1100.
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Old 17th January 2018, 15:08   #18
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Default Re: Days may be numbered for world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380

Sad to see this thing go. A350XWB killed it and Airbus saw this coming few years ago itself. However, by that time all the development and investments were done and plane was already in production post tests.

They could have saved billions of $ (which they desperately need) if they would have had enough of foresight.

With further enhancement in A350's range and payload, A380 has no chance and now Airbus knows that. Hence all the investments are being made in A350's and a little bit in A330 (by having neo and all).

Adios big guy! May be the world is not ready yet.
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Old 17th January 2018, 18:05   #19
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Default Re: Days may be numbered for world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380

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Even now, quads are preferred for hot and high airports like Quito-Ecuador, La Paz-Bolivia, Bogota-Colombia etc, because of their performance characteristics and one engine out performance in those conditions. .
yes high altitude does affect performance, but I'm not so sure there is a difference between 2- or 4-engine aircraft perse. It's not as if these airports are serviced by four engines plane only?

A twin engine aircraft is vastly overpowered, so losing one engine shouldn't be a problem at all.

do you have any real performance charts to compare?

http://www.nycaviation.com/2015/06/f...e-safety/38926
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Old 17th January 2018, 18:36   #20
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Default Re: Days may be numbered for world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Sorry to see it go.
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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
I was just going through a series of articles on this story last evening and wondered the how and why behind this development.
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Originally Posted by ariendj View Post
I believe this is because Emirates is looking at newer options from Boeing especially the new Boeing 777X which is cheaper to operate and more efficient than the A380.
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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I guess airline companies find "around 300" passenger capacity aircraft economical from capacity utilization point of view.
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Originally Posted by A350XWB View Post
And the A350XWB.
Sorry for quoting multiple posts together and posting a generic reply, but it was interesting to read all those and I believe that my response touches on all those posts above

I had visited the Airbus facility at Hamburg in September, and the executives there told me that once you kill an aircraft supply chain by shutting the project down, it is near to impossible to revive it. So if its curtains down on the A380, it will be gone for good.

However, I strongly believe that this is a clear case of wrong timing while entering the market. Airbus didn't see the threat from B777 or any other twin jet that could defy the then existing ETOPS rules. The point to point was then made popular by large twin jets, but the skies were not as crowded back then as they are now

However, while today is the era of fuel efficient medium to large sized twinjets, nothing quiet matches the hauling capacity of the A380. In a 2 class config, this beast can seat 615 (as on current Emirates config). The nearest competitor in terms of seat capacity would be the 777-9(X) at 414 seats, a full 200 seats lower than the A380

Congestion at airports is already becoming a big problem and with the higher frequency, a day will come when there will be a need for moving more people in a single go. nothing would challenge the A380 then. Further, climate change is a problem which will be made worse, should we have more jets taking off into the skies.

Needless to say, the hub and spoke model will be back one day for sure. For simplicity sake, I'd compare it with the ups and downs in the IT sector, with the difference being the time period between the two phases are in decades for aviation.

The question is, will the A380 be alive when the day comes?

Last edited by aah78 : 17th January 2018 at 20:27. Reason: Correction :). EDIT: Cutting text within quotes.
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Old 17th January 2018, 19:50   #21
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Default Re: Days may be numbered for world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380

I, for one, don't like the big jumbos that much - 747 and A380 included. Too many people to board, too many people to deboard, too much baggage checked-in at the baggage belts etc etc. I prefer the medium sized planes 777, 787 and A330, A340, and find them quieter.

Sure, A380 has very good legspace, but so does 787 dreamliner, it also depends on how airlines spec it out. Of course, if flying business or first class, A380 or 747 maybe very good ...
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Old 17th January 2018, 20:08   #22
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Default Days may be numbered for world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380

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Originally Posted by glenmz View Post
Thats sad in a way. I love the legspace and shoulder room in economy of the Emirates A380. I came out fresh from the 8 hour flight thanks to this. And the flight was packed this december when I flew to EU. So, I think its working out for Emirates with the A380.

Here is some interesting stuff I found a while ago.


Last edited by Arjun Reddy : 17th January 2018 at 20:09.
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Old 17th January 2018, 20:20   #23
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Default Re: Days may be numbered for world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380

Like other people have said the A380 is the one of the most comfortable and roomiest planes with a lot of room to walk around and stretch ones legs on long flights.
However, one thing that I have started disliking intensely is the time it takes to board and waiting in the crowded holding area before boarding such a mass of humanity onto the plane. Also, when you land the crowded immigration lines that this mass of humanity landing at one go creates in not something to envy...
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Old 17th January 2018, 23:08   #24
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Default Re: Days may be numbered for world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380

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Originally Posted by lancer_rit View Post
I, for one, don't like the big jumbos that much - 747 and A380 included. Too many people to board, too many people to deboard, too much baggage checked-in at the baggage belts etc etc. I prefer the medium sized planes 777, 787 and A330, A340, and find them quieter.

Sure, A380 has very good legspace, but so does 787 dreamliner, it also depends on how airlines spec it out. Of course, if flying business or first class, A380 or 747 maybe very good ...
The A380 is infact one of the quietest aircrafts out there today. The 787 and the A350 are a close second followed by the A330 and the A340. The 777 and the 747 are two of the loudest twins aisle after the 767. As far as luxury travel goes, the sheer space offered by the A380 is unmatched. However, Etihad offers exactly the same level of comfort on their 787 as their A380. Emirates with their latest purchase of 40 787s won't be any different. The problem with the 777 and the business class layout that most airlines follow is the cabin width. If you go with the 1-2-1 herringbone setup then you're wasting a lot of space and that compels you to go with a 2-3-2 setup. What they could do is tweak their setup to match what Virgin, Air new zealand or Jet do in their 777s.

The advantage with the A380 is that the lower deck can make use of the massive width and have premium economy and economy to have a 3-4-3 setup and still offer wider seats and use the upper deck for the luxury offering of business/first and in case of Etihad, the residence. It's a great aircraft, an engineering marvel but they have to make it more efficient and reduce the per seat cost. I guess the plane has to be at 85% occupancy for the airline to make money. That's asking for a lot.

The new 777x with the 8/9 and possible 10 variant will seat about 450 passengers in a 2 class config and will do crazy distances. First class anyway is a fast disappearing species. So business, premium economy and economy is all we will see going forward. The Boeings do this really well for all sizes and distances.

Airbus seems to be dominating the single aisle market with the 320/321 neos with the 737 max playing catch up. The Bombardier partnership should help Airbus too with the ability to provide an excellent aircraft for the sub 150 seats category. However, Boeing has them beat on the twin aisles which are more profitable too. The 787 and the 777x are a potent combo compared to the A350 and the A330 neo. The 330 neo is essentially the same old 330 with a new engine. The 787 offers so much more than the a330 and the 777x offers better numbers than the A350. Both are more expensive than their Airbus counterparts but who knows the discount structure for these deals.

I've flown on most of the twin aisles except the A350 and my personal choice in terms of ambient noise, take off, cruise and landing comfort, fatigue are

1) A380
2) 787
3) 747
4) 777
5) A340
6) A330
7) 767

I won't compare the seat comfort and service because most airlines have different standards and set ups. The 787 flight on Air Canada was so much better than the 787 flight on BA. Similarly the A330 on Swiss and Lufthansa was so much better than Jet Airways. I've only flow the A380 on Lufthansa and I loved it. The 747 is special just because it is by far one of the most beautiful aircraft to take to the skies.

The A330 and A340 are much quieter than the 777 but the 777 seems to be more comfortable during turbulence and because I love the massive GE 90s on them.

BTW, the noise level also depends on the engine choice. The GE and Rolls engines have very different noise levels during takeoff and cruise. This is a factor of the engine tech including fan design and other stuff that also impacts fuel efficiency during takeoff and cruise.

/end rant
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Old 18th January 2018, 01:14   #25
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Default Re: Days may be numbered for world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380

The A380 is a marvel of engineering not just because of its size but more due to its super wing. Airbus had to design a wing that could take 50% more weight but within the 80 metre span available at airport parking gates. The wing conventionally would need to be 90 metres in span but Airbus designed it to be shorter with risk of higher fuel consumption which was then reduced by drag reducing wing tips and 20% composites in its structure. And then there are the landing gears - 400 to 450 tonnes hitting the ground at ~240 kmph. And then the aerodynamics of an airframe so tall. Aerodynamics like cigar shaped frames the anti-thesis of the A380. Fabrice Bergier was right it was introduced a decade and more ahead of its time. As high traffic city pairs get more congested air traffic authorities will insist on larger fewer flights between several city pairs like LHR-NYC, BOM-DXB etc. That is A380s niche. I hope this fine machine survives long enough to see a Mark II version. The world needs it.

The A380 halting production is not merely about Airbus having judged the market wrong. In aviation design it takes 10 to 12 years and more to go from concept to design to prototype to production. And then you need to come up with a design that will in modified forms remain viable and valid for 30 to 40 year production run. These predictions are not simple. Outside the oil industry few others have to judge so far out. Hundreds of suppliers and vendors invest millions of $ to develop and produce the parts and services. Tens of thousands of workers in dozens of countries depend on this for the hearths at their homes. A lot is at stake when such a mammoth global programme collapses. ‎

Last edited by V.Narayan : 18th January 2018 at 01:43.
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Old 18th January 2018, 01:50   #26
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Default Re: Days may be numbered for world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380

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And then there are the landing gears - 400 to 450 tonnes hitting the ground at ~240 kmph. A ‎
To add: I think the maximum landing weight is a bit less. More like 375-395 tonnes or thereabouts, depending on version. Of course in practice it will be a lot less. It’s very rare to land at maximum landing weight. Depends a bit on how much fuel would be left, but probably at least 50-100 tonnes less in practice That would still put it about 80-100 tonnes above a 747-400 who’s landing weight is usually around the 225-250 tonnes.

It’s rare for an airliner to land at maximum landing weight of course. But if push comes to shove, it can do it safely of course, without any problems.

At maximum landing weight landing speed would be around 175MPH across the threshold and 140-150MPH at touch down. Again, as in practice the maximum landing weight is rarely used, subsequently the landing speeds would be a lot lower. What is interesting though is that the A380 does have relative low landing speeds compared to other heavies. Very good wing design as pointed out earlier.

of course, for the landing gear, weight and at what vertical speed you hit the runway, are far more important factors than speed.

Speed is a factor because drag puts strain on the landing gear. Also, higher speeds give initial higher momentums on the landing gear as the wheels spin up.

Jeroen
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Old 18th January 2018, 02:01   #27
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Default Re: Days may be numbered for world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380

You are right on weights. I am making a broad point on the capability of the gear which also bears the much higher weight at take off :-) though the dynamics are very different. My primary point is on the difficulty of forecasting and the societal impact globally.
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To add: I think the maximum landing weight is a bit less. More like 375-395 tonnes or thereabouts, depending on version. interesting though is that the A380 does have relative low landing speed.
Jeroen
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Old 18th January 2018, 02:10   #28
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Default Re: Days may be numbered for world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380

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You are right on weights. I am making a broad point on the capability of the gear which also bears the much higher weight at take off :-) though the dynamics are very different. My primary point is on the difficulty of forecasting and the societal impact globally.

It’s all how you want to look at data. Yes, it’s a lot of weight, but then again there are an awful lot of struts and wheels.

You might want to check the weight per strut or per tyre and compare with other aircraft. All of a sudden this A380 isn’t so special. It lands on the exact same runway as all other planes. So it’s loading per wheel/strut is roughly similar as other planes. Runway’s are primarily designed and built with a specify weight per wheel, rather then total gross weight. Although both might be relevant the weight per wheel tends to be the most relevant and limiting factor I believe,

There are plenty of planes out there that have a much higher loading per strut and or wheel.

Of course the landing gear has to bear the weight, but what is more relevant as to what is the maximum vertical acceleration it can withstand. And for horizontal speed what can the landing gear withstand (I.e. maximum airspeed at which the landing gear can be lowered and or flown with lowered gear. The two aren’t necessarily the same).

For the latter, weight is totally irrelevant, but drag surface is!

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 18th January 2018 at 02:16.
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Old 18th January 2018, 07:30   #29
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Default Re: Days may be numbered for world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380

I for one am hoping that this is just a game of chicken that Leahy is playing with Emirates, the Emirates order comes through, and the 380 gets a new lease of life. Have flown the 380 operated by several different airlines - Emirates, Qantas, Singapore and Lufthansa - almost always in business barring the SQ 380 on a vacation in economy. I have also flown every other aircraft type - 350s operated by Qatar and Lufthansa, 787s from British Airways, the Lufthansa 747-8 and of course, several, several 777s, 340s, 330s and 747-400s. No plane comes close to the SQ / EK 380 in business class in terms of quietness or comfort (partly because of the fabulous seats they have deployed). Even my one economy 380 flight was not bad - it was much roomier than the more recent 10 across configurations you find on 777s.

However, from an economic point of view, I am not sure if gate availability will force an upgrade to the 380 in the foreseeable future. Even the most constrained airports in the world or city pairs in the world (think BOM-DEL) have almost all flights operated by narrow bodies. Replacing a narrow body with a 330/787 class plane is a far more efficient method of dealing with constrained airports than forcing the 380. The economic problem for the 380 is that it works only at Superhub airports - and in today’s world, Dubai is the only viable superhub. Singapore used to be one - but with modern flight ranges, it is being bypassed in the Europe to Australia run. Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Istanbul are not in a position to compete with Dubai - at best one of them will survive. And the Europe to North America route is shifting away from hub and spoke to point to point. China is a point to point market too. So, despite all of us loving the A380, it’s fate rests on one man, Tim Clark, and the call he (and his bosses) takes on whether EK is viable without the 380.
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Old 18th January 2018, 09:44   #30
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Default Re: Days may be numbered for world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380

I dont think politics has anything to do with the state the A380 is in. It is size and economics that did it in.

With regards to size, not a lot of airports can accomodate the A380; therefore its routes are lesser in number.

With regards to economics, the A380 can carry a lot more passengers than other aircraft depending on the configurations, but airline companies make profits on flights depending on how many seats are occupied and profits come down even if there is 80% occupancy.
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