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Old 10-05-2014, 01:55 AM
astro astro is offline
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Airbus A380 Super Jumbo arrives at Dulles Airport & it's a monster plane!

Story here with video It was interesting how much the wings flexed in the video when it landed.

Specs here

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The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by Airbus. It is the world's largest passenger airliner, and the airports at which it operates have upgraded facilities to accommodate it. It was initially named Airbus A3XX and designed to challenge Boeing's monopoly in the large-aircraft market. The A380 made its first flight on 27 April 2005 and entered commercial service in October 2007 with Singapore Airlines.

The A380's upper deck extends along the entire length of the fuselage, with a width equivalent to a wide-body aircraft. This gives the A380-800's cabin 478 square metres (5,145.1 sq ft) of usable floor space, 40% more than the next largest airliner, the Boeing 747-8,[4] and provides seating for 525 people in a typical three-class configuration or up to 853 people in an all-economy class configuration. The A380-800 has a design range of 15,700 kilometres (8,500 nmi; 9,800 mi), sufficient to fly nonstop from Dubai to Los Angeles, and a cruising speed of Mach 0.85 (about 900 km/h, 560 mph or 490 kn at cruising altitude).
  #2  
Old 10-05-2014, 02:02 AM
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Those things are nutz. I rode one on Air France from JFK to CDG once. (Sadly I was not able to score an upper-level seat.) The crazy thing is when it starts accelerating down the runway, you barely feel it.
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Old 10-05-2014, 02:03 AM
Richard Pearse Richard Pearse is offline
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They are amazing machines. I think the B747 is a much prettier beast though. The A380 looks like a dugong.

I don't get what the story is about though. Is the A380 a rare sight in Dulles? If so, why did it go there?
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Old 10-05-2014, 04:47 AM
lawoot lawoot is offline
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My guess is inaugural A380 British Airways Washington/London service, based on the video.
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Old 10-05-2014, 04:52 AM
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Terminus Est Terminus Est is offline
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Originally Posted by Richard Pearse View Post
They are amazing machines. I think the B747 is a much prettier beast though. The A380 looks like a dugong.
I feel that Boeing makes prettier planes overall. The Airbuses look like, well, busses.
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Old 10-05-2014, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Terminus Est View Post
I feel that Boeing makes prettier planes overall. The Airbuses look like, well, busses.
Go look at some videos of the A350. That's a beautiful plane.
  #7  
Old 10-05-2014, 06:05 AM
Isilder Isilder is offline
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Btw air france has been flying A380 to Dulles for a while now.
http://www.metwashairports.com/3943.htm
The first was 2007 ?
Well I guess you prove this is MPSIMS...
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:58 AM
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The A 380 is a lovely plane to ride in- it is so smooth. Give me one over a jumbo any day. (I acknowledge the jumbos are now quite dated).
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Old 10-05-2014, 03:30 PM
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They're still making 747s, and they're still great.
  #10  
Old 10-05-2014, 04:37 PM
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It was a big news story the first time an A380 landed in Montreal. Unfortunately, A380s no longer land in Montreal, and I didn't get to see one.

Anyone know if it's fairly inexpensive to ride in one? (In the most inexpensive seats, that is.)
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Old 10-05-2014, 05:00 PM
PaulParkhead PaulParkhead is offline
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Originally Posted by EmilyG View Post
It was a big news story the first time an A380 landed in Montreal. Unfortunately, A380s no longer land in Montreal, and I didn't get to see one.

Anyone know if it's fairly inexpensive to ride in one? (In the most inexpensive seats, that is.)
I don't suppose it's any more expensive to ride in than any other airliners but of course it's designed for very long distance flights, which tend to be costly.
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Old 10-05-2014, 06:55 PM
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I've seen one at LAX, and one at MUC. Both were parked at a gate. Have never ridden one though. Monster airplane - I'd love to see one take off or land IRL, would be very cool.
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:29 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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I mostly get to look from the terminal or taxi past 380s at JFK or on my occasional whirls to LAX. Seen Lufthansa's, Air France's, Singapore's and Emirates' . Impressive birds in the ground and in motion. And together with the 747 we get to still have big 4-engine airliners in production for when you want to impress people with your arrival.

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Originally Posted by friedo View Post
They're still making 747s, and they're still great.
Oh sure, but the sales have gone way, way down. Victim of its descendants' success, I suppose, specifically the 777. Still, the Jumbo's also on my list to get to fly on some time soon, though.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 10-05-2014 at 08:30 PM.
  #14  
Old 10-05-2014, 08:40 PM
PaulParkhead PaulParkhead is offline
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Originally Posted by JRDelirious View Post
I mostly get to look from the terminal or taxi past 380s at JFK or on my occasional whirls to LAX. Seen Lufthansa's, Air France's, Singapore's and Emirates' . Impressive birds in the ground and in motion. And together with the 747 we get to still have big 4-engine airliners in production for when you want to impress people with your arrival.

And let's not forget the A340 which has four engines and which, contrary to some complaints about Airbus aircraft being ugly, is actually quite beautiful.
  #15  
Old 10-05-2014, 08:53 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Enjoy the A340 while you can; their days are very numbered.

They are MUCH more expensive to operate than the big twins. There won't be but a handful in the air in 8 years. They'll all have been replaced by A350s or 777s.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:07 PM
The Vorlon The Vorlon is offline
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Biggest thing I have ever been on was a DC-10.

Next biggest was a early L-1011--it seemed to be flying at a 30 degree climb the whole way to Florida.

Most of the time I find a 737 at the far end of the jetway.
  #17  
Old 10-06-2014, 10:32 AM
PaulParkhead PaulParkhead is offline
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Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
Enjoy the A340 while you can; their days are very numbered.

They are MUCH more expensive to operate than the big twins. There won't be but a handful in the air in 8 years. They'll all have been replaced by A350s or 777s.
You're not the first person I've heard say that. I'm sure you are correct, but it is a shame. Still, neither the A350 nor the 777 are bad looking planes.
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Old 10-08-2014, 05:44 AM
si_blakely si_blakely is offline
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I've flown in A380 long haul a few times, I like it. Just a bit more roomy and comfortable than a 747 (in Economy, anyhow).

I heard a story about the A380 - they do a mockups of planes for evacuation evaluation at a university in London. Students and locals get paid to sit in the "plane", and then run evacuation drill, 3 times (with a small bonus for the fastest out the plane).

The A380 was so high and the chutes so steep from the upper deck that for the first time ever some of the subjects refused to do the second and third runs. The upper deck exit chutes had to be redesigned.
  #19  
Old 10-08-2014, 12:03 PM
Iamnotivan Iamnotivan is offline
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I have flown the 380 on Singapore, Emirates and Thai. Emirates is the most interesting because it has a great camera at the forward top of its tail, and you can watch every minute of the flight in your seat. Singapore is the best for everything, as usual.
Airbus is having trouble selling the 380s, and has slashed the price by almost half. There are too few airports and routes requiring such a huge plane. I read that in the decision to go big or med., Boeing opted for the 777 which has become the workhorse of the business. Interestingly, one of the airline (and leasing companies) concerns is that there is probably not going to be a market for used 380s, which is a significant problem for all concerned.
  #20  
Old 10-08-2014, 12:20 PM
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Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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According to Flightradar24, at the time of posting, there are 73 A380s in the air, 468 B777s, 181 B747s, 226 B767s, 420 A330s and 90 A340s. Am I missing any other widebodies?

For reference there are 1408 A320s and 1500 B737s aloft.

(assuming Flightradar 24 is accurate)

Last edited by Baron Greenback; 10-08-2014 at 12:22 PM.
  #21  
Old 10-08-2014, 12:53 PM
Robrein Robrein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by si_blakely View Post
I heard a story about the A380 - they do a mockups of planes for evacuation evaluation at a university in London. Students and locals get paid to sit in the "plane", and then run evacuation drill, 3 times (with a small bonus for the fastest out the plane).

The A380 was so high and the chutes so steep from the upper deck that for the first time ever some of the subjects refused to do the second and third runs. The upper deck exit chutes had to be redesigned.
I don't know about anything in London, but during the evacuation certification test in Germany they had one broken leg and 32 minor injuries. And they passed.
  #22  
Old 10-08-2014, 01:10 PM
PaulParkhead PaulParkhead is offline
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Originally Posted by Baron Greenback View Post
According to Flightradar24, at the time of posting, there are 73 A380s in the air, 468 B777s, 181 B747s, 226 B767s, 420 A330s and 90 A340s. Am I missing any other widebodies?
B787 is a widebody, I think.
  #23  
Old 10-08-2014, 01:18 PM
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Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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B787 is a widebody, I think.
I knew I was missing an obvious one: 75 at the moment.
  #24  
Old 10-08-2014, 01:55 PM
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They are amazing machines. I think the B747 is a much prettier beast though. The A380 looks like a dugong.


Agreed on both counts. For the A380, the phrase "morbidly obese" comes to mind.
  #25  
Old 10-08-2014, 02:02 PM
YogSothoth YogSothoth is offline
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Are the celebrating or washing the plane with those water cannons after it landed?
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:32 PM
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I have flown the 380 on Singapore, Emirates and Thai. Emirates is the most interesting because it has a great camera at the forward top of its tail, and you can watch every minute of the flight in your seat. Singapore is the best for everything, as usual.
Airbus is having trouble selling the 380s, and has slashed the price by almost half. There are too few airports and routes requiring such a huge plane. I read that in the decision to go big or med., Boeing opted for the 777 which has become the workhorse of the business. Interestingly, one of the airline (and leasing companies) concerns is that there is probably not going to be a market for used 380s, which is a significant problem for all concerned.
The Thai Airways A380s also have the camera on top of the fin, I think it's a standard feature.
I flew on one from Japan to Thailand and the darn check-in cue was a couple hundred meters long. The plane is very nice though.
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Old 10-08-2014, 03:03 PM
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Are the celebrating or washing the plane with those water cannons after it landed?
Celebrating - it's a water salute, I think.
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Old 10-08-2014, 03:20 PM
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We're moving to LA and one of my first goals is to see a 380.
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Old 10-08-2014, 06:56 PM
Richard Pearse Richard Pearse is offline
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The Thai Airways A380s also have the camera on top of the fin, I think it's a standard feature.
I flew on one from Japan to Thailand and the darn check-in cue was a couple hundred meters long. The plane is very nice though.
Yes, a standard feature to help the pilots see the wingtips. Whether the video feed is made available to the passengers depends on the airline though.
  #30  
Old 10-09-2014, 11:02 AM
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Can I talk about the top deck? I've flown in First Class on Lufthansa's A380 service from Frankfurt to Johannesburg, Frankfurt to New Delhi, and in Business Class from Frankfurt to Singapore. The F-Class cabin is incredible: just 8 seats, which is surprising considering the size of the plane. They've taken out out the overhead bins - each seat is assigned a vertical wardrobe - so it feels very roomy. There's two bathrooms - both bigger than my loo at home.

Take-off is an odd feeling. As the plane accelerates, you feel so high-up and remote from the wheels on the runway. IIRC, you can barely feel the landing gear retract, even at the front of the plane.

A380 airport gates have two levels, so F-Class and Y-Class board directly onto the top deck without passing anyone in Economy. I've also taken Thai A380 in F-Class to/from Bangkok. It's not quite as fancy as Lufthansa, but still quite special.
  #31  
Old 10-09-2014, 07:09 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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... A380 airport gates have two levels, so F-Class and Y-Class board directly onto the top deck without passing anyone in Economy. ...
In the industry Y-class generally refers to Economy. IOW the cheap seats.

I can't say for sure whether Lufthansa labels business or some other intermediate class as "Y", but it'd be going against a lot of industry standards to do so.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 10-09-2014 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:18 AM
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I saw one banked over at around 45 degrees just a few hundred feet above my house. It was displaying at this year's Farnborough Airshow, I live about a mile from the runway.
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:39 AM
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It was interesting how much the wings flexed in the video when it landed.
Not trying to be condescending to you at all, but have you ever flown in a jumbo jet with a window seat by the wings?

When you hit turbulence the wings visibly flex a LOT, freaked me the hell out to realize I was flying in a aluminum can basically. I could even see the main body flexing up and down, the ceiling was visibly moving.(I mean like looking down the length of the plane, you could see that at some points one half was going up and down).
  #34  
Old 10-10-2014, 02:07 PM
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Not trying to be condescending to you at all, but have you ever flown in a jumbo jet with a window seat by the wings?

When you hit turbulence the wings visibly flex a LOT, freaked me the hell out to realize I was flying in a aluminum can basically. I could even see the main body flexing up and down, the ceiling was visibly moving.(I mean like looking down the length of the plane, you could see that at some points one half was going up and down).
Boeing would have you believe the plane is made of aluminum, but I'm pretty sure it's all just low-durometer silicone rubber. in fact I think the "engines" are just for show, and the plane actually propels itself through the air by flapping its wings.

Video proof.
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Old 10-10-2014, 03:51 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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I had two flights on A380s about a year ago, when we went to China to complete our international adoption. The ride was smooth, I suppose, but we'll never fly China Southern again; they configure the seats together way too tightly. My wife is 5'2", and her knees touched the seats in front of us, so you can imagine how comfy I was at 6'2". Seats were hard as rocks. There were also no individual air nozzles, so it was pretty stifling.
  #36  
Old 10-10-2014, 04:26 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by grude View Post
Not trying to be condescending to you at all, but have you ever flown in a jumbo jet with a window seat by the wings?

When you hit turbulence the wings visibly flex a LOT, freaked me the hell out to realize I was flying in a aluminum can basically. I could even see the main body flexing up and down, the ceiling was visibly moving.(I mean like looking down the length of the plane, you could see that at some points one half was going up and down).
Not trying to be condescending, but flex is good. Stiff things snap under load. Flexible things bend and bounce back.

You'll really enjoy the flappy plastic wings on a 787; they flex a LOT more than 747s & A380s do.
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Old 10-10-2014, 05:52 PM
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Not trying to be condescending, but flex is good. Stiff things snap under load. Flexible things bend and bounce back.

You'll really enjoy the flappy plastic wings on a 787; they flex a LOT more than 747s & A380s do.
787 flex testing.
  #38  
Old 10-10-2014, 07:21 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Torque View Post
I had two flights on A380s about a year ago, when we went to China to complete our international adoption. The ride was smooth, I suppose, but we'll never fly China Southern again; they configure the seats together way too tightly. Seats were hard as rocks. There were also no individual air nozzles, so it was pretty stifling.
According to the chart, 32" pitch, which is pretty much coach standard around the world, and 17.5" width, which is at the tighter end of the market. FWIW the chart puts the corresponding clearances for cattle-class seats in a British Airways 380 as 31/17.5, a United Airlines 747 as 31/17, a UA 777 as 31/18.
So you are as crammed as in most peasant-class flights everywhere, except that the kind of routes on which you fly an A380/747/777 means spending a huge part of your day like that.

Many airlines have taken the individual vent fans from their widebodies, I've encountered that on 767 and 777 transoceanics and 767 domestics.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 10-10-2014 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:15 AM
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Updating this thread:
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European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has pulled the plug on its struggling A380 superjumbo, which entered service just 12 years ago. Airbus said last deliveries of the world's largest passenger aircraft, which cost about $25bn (19.4bn) to develop, would be made in 2021. The decision comes after Emirates, the largest A380 customer, cut its order. The A380 faced fierce competition from smaller, more efficient aircraft and has never made a profit...

When Airbus's A380 first took off it was hailed as a technological marvel that would meet airlines' needs for a new large aircraft to connect the world's crowded airport hubs - London, New York, Dubai, Tokyo. Airbus said the market for the giant planes would be 1,500. After today's decision to end production, it will have made just over 250.
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47231504

Last edited by PastTense; 02-14-2019 at 10:15 AM.
  #40  
Old 02-14-2019, 10:26 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Here's CNN's coverage of the Airbus decision: https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/14/busin...tes/index.html
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:29 PM
bibliophage bibliophage is offline
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The trend away from jumbo passenger jets was already evident when the A380 made its maiden flight. I wonder if the A380 might have had more success if Airbus had concentrated on the proposed cargo version instead of the passenger one. None of the A380F cargo planes were ever built, and the project was scrapped 3 or 4 years ago.

Last edited by bibliophage; 02-14-2019 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:39 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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That is one big-ass airplane: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus...to_Pearson.jpg
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:00 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Originally Posted by bibliophage View Post
The trend away from jumbo passenger jets was already evident when the A380 made its maiden flight. I wonder if the A380 might have had more success if Airbus had concentrated on the proposed cargo version instead of the passenger one. None of the A380F cargo planes were ever built, and the project was scrapped 3 or 4 years ago.
As I remember, at the same time Airbus was planning the A380, Boeing was planning the 787 Dreamliner. Airbus bet big on larger planes to fly from hub to hub while Boeing bet big on a smaller plane that could fly to and from smaller airports but was more fuel efficient and used composite materials. Looks like Boeing was right.
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:50 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is online now
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None of the A380F cargo planes were ever built, and the project was scrapped 3 or 4 years ago.
You might see a number of the current passenger aircraft converted to freighters as they get (prematurely) retired, just like a number of passenger 747's that have become economically obsolete for the airlines but are still a good deal for the cargo carriers.

The market for it was really created by just one guy, the CEO at Emirates, which accounts for most of the A380's sales. But the 777 and A350 are better planes for them, and their orders are shifting that way.
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:28 PM
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You might see a number of the current passenger aircraft converted to freighters as they get (prematurely) retired...
The first four A380s have already been retired and two are waiting to be scrapped, so it doesn't seem like there is much of a market for converted A380s.
  #46  
Old 02-16-2019, 05:46 PM
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You might see a number of the current passenger aircraft converted to freighters as they get (prematurely) retired, just like a number of passenger 747's that have become economically obsolete for the airlines but are still a good deal for the cargo carriers.

The market for it was really created by just one guy, the CEO at Emirates, which accounts for most of the A380's sales. But the 777 and A350 are better planes for them, and their orders are shifting that way.
From what I understand, Boeing engineers had freight haulage in the backs of their minds when designing the 747. As I was told, they looked at the Concorde and assumed that supersonic jets were the future of long-distance passenger aviation. So they gave the 747 its iconic hump, to make it easy to convert to a cargo carrier that could be loaded through the flipped-up nose.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:05 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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I think that's correct. The hump on the 747 puts the cockpit above the cargo space, so if the cargo shifts, it won't crash into the cockpit.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:21 PM
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I think that's correct. The hump on the 747 puts the cockpit above the cargo space, so if the cargo shifts, it won't crash into the cockpit.
If the cargo shifts that much, being out of its way isn't going to help you.

I think it was more an issue of having the flight deck out of the way so that loading cargo would be faster and easier.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:46 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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You may be right. I just remembered that the location of the cockpit had something to do with the cargo configuration.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:25 PM
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Oh sure, but the sales have gone way, way down. Victim of its descendants' success, I suppose, specifically the 777. Still, the Jumbo's also on my list to get to fly on some time soon, though.
The A380 was designed to compete with the 747 but the 747 has been on the decline and has only lasted this long because of the freighter version.

The big flaw in the A380 from the start was a lack of a freighter version.
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