Login Now to remove this and all advertisements (GOLD and SILVER members)
Not a member? Register Now for free

A380 Production Sadness

Sprucegoose

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
6,875
Points
770
Airbus slashes A380 superjumbo production

The worst bits are -

The A380 build rate will be reduced to eight jets a year in 2019, down from 15 this year and 28 in 2016, Airbus said Wednesday.

The A380 was already due to see production cut to one aircraft a month from next May, and the reductions mean that it is no longer breaking even on a per-plane basis. The company has long since given up on recouping the program’s €25 billion in development costs.


Even if you don't like the aircraft, this isn't good news for anyone.

Airline economics is such a fickle thing. Ask Mr Joyce who has more risk in world health presently than under his own control.......
 

dajop

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 1, 2002
Messages
11,672
Solutions
3
Points
1,345
but I won't be surprised if there are still 747s flying after the last 380 has been scrapped.

Well nor would I. Especially given the 747-800 had its first commercial flight about 4 years after the first A380 flight!
 

jase05

Established Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
2,860
Points
695
Qantas
Gold
Virgin
Platinum

jb747

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
10,023
Points
1,755
I’m presuming Sprucegoose is talking about these guys?
I personally think it’s pie in the sky stuff

I guess they’re also going to be carrying Elvis. Won’t ever happen. Almost the worst possible aircraft choice for the supposed operation. And high density. Seriously? It sounds like the sort of thing you’d see on prune during school holidays.
 

daft009

Established Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2014
Messages
1,897
Points
570
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
Interesting article I just read...

 

odysseus

Established Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
1,266
Solutions
2
Points
405
Yes, that was said some time ago how they wanted to build an neo version of it which they felt would be a big step in viability. However, it required enough customer commitment rather than spending even more pre-commercial return. And that didn't happen so the whole thing fell down.
 

jb747

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
10,023
Points
1,755
Interesting article I just read...


Blaming the engines. Love it. They had their issues, but if the aircraft had been brought into service when they promised, then the sudden advent of better engines would still have been some years away.

The biggest issue with the A380 was purely the fault of Airbus. The aircraft was far too heavy. Whilst they actually managed to extract very good performance from it, given the weight, they would have done hugely better if it hadn’t been obese to start with. The empty weight was almost 100 tonnes greater than that of the 747, but it was only realistically carrying another 100 passengers.

Looking at empty weights, the 747 weighted about .5 tonnes per passenger, but the 380 was actually heavier at .57 tonnes per passenger. So, you immediately have a penalty of about 15%. From that point, much of the cunning engineering that happened was simply trying to get that deficit back.

An A380 with an empty weight of about 245 tonnes would have been very impressive, and would almost certainly still be with us.
 

moa999

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
11,589
Solutions
1
Points
1,200
Which afaik was at least partially down to the oversized wing which was reportedly designed for a 380-900 sized aircraft, which Leahy also mentions.

But engines were definitely an issue.
As it is you've had 250 aircraft produced - so 1000 odd engines split between two manufacturers. I doubt either made much money on the program (particularly with the issues both had).

I wonder with hindsight whether the aircraft could have been designed around existing engines - say four A330 engines to reduce this cost of development, with perhaps a simpler path to shifting to a neo engine.
 

jb747

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
10,023
Points
1,755
Which afaik was at least partially down to the oversized wing which was reportedly designed for a 380-900 sized aircraft, which Leahy also mentions.

As in all things aviation, if you change on thing, you end up changing many. There have always been claims that the wing was designed for the mythical -900, but I’ve never seen anything official that says that. It really makes very little sense, to compromise your design, for something that might happen in the future.

The aircraft’s performance was as good as it was, in large part because of the wing. It would never have been able to operate from the shortish runways that it could, had the wing been smaller. The large wing was also a factor in its ability to get up high, early in flights, which helped with fuel burn. Approach and take off speeds were relatively low, again because of that big wing. Make them higher, and you need more powerful engines, longer runways, and so on.
But engines were definitely an issue.

Engine reliability was an issue. Changes were happening far too often, though failures were rare.
I wonder with hindsight whether the aircraft could have been designed around existing engines - say four A330 engines to reduce this cost of development, with perhaps a simpler path to shifting to a neo engine.

That would give you an A340. Underpowered. Terrible performance. Probably unable to fly across the Pacific (west bound). It would have had approximately the performance of a 380 operating on three of the current engines...not nice. The aircraft would have been stillborn.
 
Credit cards which earn frequent flyer points is a popular way to earn frequent flyer points. You can receive thousands of points on everyday spend. And, many of these cards offer generous signup bonuses! Compare to find the credit card that best suits your needs.

Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer

Community Statistics

Threads
86,903
Messages
2,117,034
Members
54,149
Latest member
Stuart Fawell
Top