Airbus A380. Pretty interesting.

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by gamegod86, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. gamegod86

    gamegod86 Male Lesbian

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    http://www.economist.com/agenda/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3555366

    A hulking beast joins the dogfight
    Jan 13th 2005
    From The Economist Global Agenda


    Airbus is about to unveil its new A380 super-jumbo (pictured). Will the 555-seat monster leave Boeing trailing in its wake?

    [​IMG]



    AS DISTINCTIVE Routemaster double-decker buses disappear from the streets of London, Airbus is set to unveil a double-decker passenger jet that it hopes will repeat the success of a vehicle that is every bit as iconic: Boeing’s 747. The European consortium’s A380 super-jumbo, which is to be formally unveiled at a lavish ceremony on Tuesday January 18th, will break the 747’s longstanding monopoly of the big-jet market when it enters service in 2006. Everything about the new plane is big, from its capacity of 555 paying customers and range of 15,000km (9,320 miles) to the purpose-built hangar, one of Europe’s largest enclosed spaces, at its construction site near Toulouse in southern France. Bigger, longer-range versions are planned and so far orders have been taken for 149 super-jumbos, over halfway to break-even point.

    The size of the project reflects estimates about the future demand for air travel. Despite the recent travails of big airlines, both Airbus and Boeing expect a tripling of air-passenger traffic over the next 20 years. But the transatlantic rivals disagree about how the demand should be met. Airbus thinks an extra 16,600 new large planes (over 100 seats)—a doubling of the number of passenger aircraft currently flying—will do the trick, and expects that the average number of seats in aircraft will increase by 20%, to 215. By contrast, Boeing expects sales of 18,600 slightly smaller planes.

    Airbus is hoping that the A380 will help it retain the lead it gained over Boeing in 2003, when, for the first time since the European consortium emerged as a rival to Boeing in the early 1970s, it delivered more aircraft than its American competitor. Airbus, to Boeing’s extreme displeasure, kept the number-one slot in 2004 by delivering 320 planes compared with 285 from its rival, according to figures released this week.

    Boeing’s seemingly unassailable lead over Airbus was founded on the success of the 747, which entered service in 1970. The original jumbo jet could carry twice as many passengers as the next largest plane then flying and had a greater range, allowing, for example, a long transatlantic flight without refuelling. Its cost per passenger mile was around one-third less than its rivals. A huge home market for the jumbo and the rest of the Boeing range ensured its ascendancy. Some 1,400 747s have been sold to date.

    However, only 15 were delivered last year. And as the jumbo has aged, Boeing’s domination of the commercial airways has foundered. The aerospace giant’s product line is ailing, and attempts to revive it have met with only partial success. The big airlines showed little interest in an upgraded jumbo. And a red-faced Boeing was forced to withdraw its Sonic Cruiser, a plane intended to fly at near the speed of sound, after airlines rejected the idea that passengers would pay a hefty premium for such rapid transit.

    Boeing’s latest attempt to put things right, the 250-seat 7E7 “Dreamliner”, is born out of a belief that passengers will demand, and future deregulation allow, a big increase in “point-to-point” travel: direct flights between small and medium-sized cities, as opposed to the traditional hub-and-spoke model, in which international passengers fly between a few major airports and are then taken to more out of the way places on feeder flights. Boeing hopes the new plane will prove popular with the time-conscious business flyer. It says that the 7E7’s advanced engines will cut airlines’ fuel costs by 20%. So far it has received 56 firm orders.

    The A380, by contrast, is designed to fly between big hubs. Its critics say it will mean longer journey times for passengers with onward flights to smaller destinations. But Airbus is claiming a similar step-change to the one that accompanied the launch of the 747: operating costs will be 15-20% lower than those of any rival aircraft, it says. To add to Boeing’s discomfort, Airbus announced in December that it would introduce the A350 in direct competition with the Dreamliner, offering much the same specifications.

    Boeing’s fears that it would be left in Airbus’s wake also prompted it to attack on another front. In October, America made a formal complaint to the World Trade Organisation alleging the payment of billions of dollars of “unfair” subsidies to Airbus. Boeing claims that “launch aid” has enabled Airbus to roll out five new products in the past ten years while it has managed just one. Like Airbus’s rapid response to the Dreamliner, the European Union immediately said that it would file a counter-claim over large sums of aid going to Boeing through indirect government subsidies from its relationship with NASA and the Pentagon. This week, the EU said that it was ready to compromise to resolve the dispute and both sides agreed to suspend hostilities (and subsidies) for three months of negotiations.

    The huge projected market for passenger jets over the coming years will allow both aircraft-makers to sell plenty of new planes. The A380 aside, Airbus and Boeing seem evenly matched. The success of the super-jumbo may well determine how much higher the Europeans fly than the Americans in the next few years.



    Copyright © 2005 The Economist Newspaper and The Economist Group. All rights reserved.
     
  2. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

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    Airbus = Airburst; Scarebus; Airborne Auschwitz

    If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going.
     

  3. gamegod86

    gamegod86 Male Lesbian

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    I am not enamored of Airbus either, mostly because of that video where the A300(?) flew off into the trees at landing.

    Even though my understanding is that it was pilot error, I just don't really want to trust them with my life.

    Not that it's much of an issue...my wife won't get on a plane since the last time we flew. We got off the plane at about 10:30 pm on 9-10-01. After the events of the next day she was a little wigged out. (she was scared to begin with...)

    I still think that this new airplane is pretty cool. I think that it's the 2 decks that make it interesting. It's unusual, although Airbus is trying like crazy to make it "usual," aren't they? ;f
     
  4. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    I'm pretty sure that was a software glitch as it was an early fly-by-wire.
     
  5. Stuckinhell

    Stuckinhell

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    What's the difference between an Airbus and a chainsaw? About a couple-hundred trees an hour, but I digress...

    It was not really a software glitch. It was mostly pilot error. Basically, the pilots were not familiar enough with the operation of the aircraft.
    Airbuses have what's called "envelope protection." Basically if you are at 100 feet or higher and you retard the throttles, once your speed begins approaching stall speed, the bus will begin the stall recovery procedure automatically (power up, stick forward). That is what those pilots were trying to demonstrate. They came in over the runway and retarded the throttles (the throttles weren't the only things that were retarded). There is one little problem: the bus was below 100 feet. So it "thought" that the pilots would be landing. What the pilots had to do was enable TOGA (Takeoff/go around) mode.
     
  6. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

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    nope

    Airbus seems to have over 50 firm orders so I wish them luck.

    Boeing has been selling 4 engine jumbos since 1968...........over 5000 of them. There is not a market for it anymore though becasue they put themselves out of the 747 busniess with the 777. You will note that Airbus does not even attempt to make a copy. I worked for Boeing for a bit back in 98-99. We went from 4 747s a month to 1.5.

    I like the 340 for transatlantic flights (having taken a dozen or so Luftansa flights from PDX to Frankfurt) as much as I like the 777.
     
  7. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

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    Its kind sad, but when you show me a 555 seat airplane, the first thing that comes to mind is.....terrorist target.
     
  8. aircarver

    aircarver Descent Terminated Silver Member

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    Boeing was of the opinion that Airbus will go broke not selling enough of them to break even on development costs. Fortunately for Airbus, they have the French Government shoveling money, 'cuz it's a dandy jobs program.....
     
  9. Glenairguy

    Glenairguy

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    With the sheer size of this airplane, I see airport restrictions. Check out the wingspan dimensions vs distance between runways and taxiways. Airport acceptance rates will be affected.
     
  10. flyandscuba

    flyandscuba

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    Not to mention that even though 555 people may be able to reach their destination in a couple of hours -- it will take equally as long (or longer) for 555 people to load and unload all the oversized carry-on bags that seem to be popular these days.

    I wouldn't care to go through the lengthy loading process to cram all of those bodies in an airplane. As for me, I prefer a 50-seat regional jet that travels near as fast but only a few minutes to load and unload for most of my travels.
     
  11. gamegod86

    gamegod86 Male Lesbian

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    Think this will fly? (pardon the really bad pun...)
    .
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    Virgin to Offer Gambling on 'Superjumbos'

    1 hour, 48 minutes ago

    By LAURENCE FROST, AP Business Writer

    TOULOUSE, France - High-paying passengers aboard Virgin Atlantic's Airbus "superjumbos" will be able to work out in the gym, get a makeover, gamble in a casino then head to the bar for some cocktails before easing onto a double bed.



    Virgin boss Richard Branson made the announcement Tuesday as he attended the official debut of the new A380 at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, southern France.

    Some of the Boeing 747s in Virgin's existing fleet are equipped with double beds for first-class passengers and bars where travelers can stretch their legs while sipping a beer.

    But Branson vowed to extend the concept when Virgin takes delivery of its six A380s beginning in 2008.

    "We plan to have a gym area for our passengers to stretch and work out during the flight," Branson said. "We're going to introduce a beauty parlor, we plan to have a casino."

    The A380 can carry 555 passengers in a three-class cabin — one-third more passengers than a 747 — with a lower operating cost per seat as well as much more cabin space left over for other amenities.

    Airlines with upscale business models are likely to equip the plane with fewer seats to leave more space for lavish facilities and first-class berths.

    At the other end of the scale, a budget carrier or charter operator serving busy holiday routes would be able to seat more than 800 passengers comfortably in a single coach-class configuration.

    Most of the airlines that have ordered the A380 so far are keeping mum about what features they plan to offer on board.

    Qatar Airways said Tuesday its A380s would seat just 490 passengers, but gave no details of its planned cabin layouts. Geoff Dixon, CEO of Australia's Qantas Airways, said its superjumbo cabin designs would be unveiled in the next few weeks.

    With seats for 500 passengers, Virgin's A380 would be slightly less spacious than Qatar's.
     
  12. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

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    Anyone who could afford the ticket that will give them access to an airborne gym, casino and the other crap would be much better served by chartering a bizjet. The cost would probably be about the same, and they can use general aviation airports much closer to their actual destination, with no waiting in line and ground transportation within one or two minutes of getting off the plane.
     
  13. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

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    Did you catch that bit about seating "more than 800" in an all coach configuration. That's freaking scarry. Imagine the resperatory infections that will ge passed around in that thing on a 8 hour flight from some equatorial 3rd world virus factory.
     
  14. c6601a

    c6601a

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    Care to tell me how you expect that to happen? Do you know anything about pressurization systems? Can you tell me how many CFM of fresh air is required per passenger for certification? Do you know that the air in the 800 person airplane in flight is a lot cleaner and germ free than in a typical indoor setting in the USA.

    Your highest exposure is when you are on the ground and the aircraft is not pressurized. How long you are on the ground has nothing to do with the length of the flight.
     
  15. c6601a

    c6601a

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    Spoken like someone who has no idea what a bizjet flight actually costs. Also keep in mind that this would be a trans-oceanic flight as you can not have a casino while flying in a country's domestic airspace.

    Here's a data point from yesterday's WSJ. McDonalds corp spent $330,000 (yes that three hundred and thirty thousand dollars) in December 2004 to transport their ailing former CEO, his wife and daughter from USA to Australia. Grant you, this was a special medically equipped airplane, but the hourly rates for those are only slightly higher than those for the same airframe in regular passenger configuration.
     
  16. Coolknight

    Coolknight

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    My opinion on the Airbus v/s Boeing, being from Switzerland.

    I grew up in this aviation stuff... it a family thing.

    Airbus (I am leaving out those that are end of life):

    1. Airbus A318/319/320/321, when ordered with V2500 engines they are rather good aircraft, main problem lies in its electronics which are expensive to maintain.

    2. Airbus A330... a rather unspectacular medium to long range twin. It has a slow cruise speed, decent climb and so/so economics, its main selling point is that pilots can train for the A330/A340 as the cockpits are so similar.

    3. Airbus A340... the -300s are dogs... the -600 are just ok. The A340-300 is underpowered, cruises at only 33'000 feet and is about 60Kts slower then a MD11, B777 etc. It is a big step backwards, add to this higher operating costs then a MD11 and you have an aircraft that can only be sold if the "Bribes" are big enough. The A340-600 is better, but suffers from a very bad rate of climb and it still burns 20% more fuel then a B777-300ER... again "Bribes" is the key to Airbus sales... Bribes as high as 3% of the value of these Aircraft is what the rumors say. The cabin ventilation on the A340 is the worst that I know of, they're called "Stinkbus" in the industry.

    4. Airbus A380... a very large aircraft designed as a passenger jet. Unlike a B747 it not possible to load the large cargo containers that will fit in a Cargo B747 as the cargo doors and space between floors is too small. It will be nice aircraft for UPS and Fedex for parcel services, but it will never be a good cargo aircraft. As passenger jet the A380 will offer 555 seats +, and no better economics then a B787 (B7E7)... the capital investment is huge and the subsidies from the EU and EU nations are just as big. They range from the states picking up the social costs which Airbus should pay, to huge investments into all kinds of stuff which would have made the A380 not viable from an economic point of view... it will sell thanks to the Airbus "Bribe" sale system.

    5. A350. Designed as a competition to the B787, it is more like an improved A330 and does not come close to the economics of the B787. It only exists because Airbus hopes to sell it using "political" pressure and big enough "Bribes" to sell it.

    Boeing (I am leaving out those that are end of life):

    1. B737 Adv. Just look around you... the new 737s like the 700 are the most cost efficient around in their size. These planes are money makers, simple to maintain and fuel efficient. But the lacking of proper "Bribing"... the fact that Euro. companies are under pressure to buy European have resulted in fewer sales then could have been possible.

    2. B747. Still the best large AC. Great for Cargo, great for Passengers. Well known technology. The economics are good, otherwise no one would buy these NEW to fly cargo around.

    3. B777. Beats the A330/A340 in every respect. Much better cabin, good ventilation, super economics. In fact so much better that even Air France prefered them to the A340-600, Airbus "Bribes" and kickbacks could not help to sell it to those who make it.

    4. B787... if it delivers... I believe it will, will be the best in its class.

    Airbus "Bribes" scheme example...

    When now defunct "Swissair" was looking for a replacement for its MD11 fleet, it favored the B777, however heavy political pressure from Germany and France and "Bribes" made Swissair order A340-600 aircraft. The head of the Swissair aircraft purchasing dept. now works for Airbus... I believe this is proof enough that major "Bribes" and politics is what sells Airbus aircraft.

    Regards,
    Coolknight
     
  17. CFII

    CFII

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    Wow, good post. You are 110% correct. Airbus is only around due to goverment subsides, and the pressure it puts on EU members to buy them. Its almost like the mafia. I dont even know how its legal.
     
  18. flygirl

    flygirl

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    We need a BIGGER airport.. ;e