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Old December 4th, 2004, 11:57 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by huaiwei
Hmm...have anyone wondered wats gonna happen if (touch wood) the plane fails to meet technical and performance expectations? I am kinda harbouring the possibilities of such issues everytime I look at A380 news and updates...it just keeps me riverted even more!
The project is now at the end, so eventual problems regarding performances, either technical or commercial are trully eliminated
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Old December 5th, 2004, 03:08 AM   #22
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I know that when Boeing built the first 777, they had everything figured out on a very complex computer program that simulated everything, like structural integrity, wing strength, airframe strength, etc. That was about 15 years ago. I'm sure today's computers can probably simulate the A380 flying in various conditions and with various problems occuring. I would think that the A380 will perform exactly like the computer simulations have shown it will. But, then again, don't forget the "Unsinkable Titanic!!."
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Old December 5th, 2004, 09:26 AM   #23
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Haha...yeah precisely man. Hasent there been news over the potentially bloating weight of the aircraft which might shave off flight range and performance? I wonder whats gonna happen if SIA decides to add a swimming pool to its plane!
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Old December 6th, 2004, 04:29 AM   #24
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The only unattractive exterior feature of the A380 is the number of tires they are using to spread out the incredibly heavy weight of the plane. Airbus says that with the large number of tires, that the actual weight that each tire places on the runways, taxiways and aprons will be less than the 747. But, IMHO it detracts from the beauty of the plane.
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Old December 6th, 2004, 02:12 PM   #25
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^ Don't look at it when it's on the ground. Lol.
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Old December 6th, 2004, 02:19 PM   #26
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The only unattractive exterior feature of the A380 is the number of tires they are using to spread out the incredibly heavy weight of the plane. Airbus says that with the large number of tires, that the actual weight that each tire places on the runways, taxiways and aprons will be less than the 747. But, IMHO it detracts from the beauty of the plane.
Yes, but even that, the shape of the aircraft is not as good as 744 IMO :/
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Old December 6th, 2004, 09:59 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLo14
Yes, but even that, the shape of the aircraft is not as good as 744 IMO :/
OMG, this could be a first!! An American (me) saying that the Airbus A380 is basically beautiful and a European (FLo14) saying that it is not as good as the Boeing 747-400!! I think I'll faint now!
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Old December 9th, 2004, 02:26 PM   #28
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I've written my opinion only in seeing pics, but we will compare in a few couple of months, in real
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Old December 9th, 2004, 02:32 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick in Atlanta
OMG, this could be a first!! An American (me) saying that the Airbus A380 is basically beautiful and a European (FLo14) saying that it is not as good as the Boeing 747-400!! I think I'll faint now!
Muahaha....have you regained consciousness yet?

Anyway I commented that it looked like a fat baby in the previous photos. Still looks like one now.
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Old December 11th, 2004, 05:43 PM   #30
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More beautiful images from the a380
http://www.planepictures.net/netshow.php?id=285705
http://www.planepictures.net/netshow.php?id=285686

The a380 is really huge.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 04:00 AM   #31
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Amazing, I can't believe that giant can fly.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 06:03 AM   #32
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Quote:
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Amazing, I can't believe that giant can fly.
I think the four engines with a combined maximum thrust nearing 330,000 lbs should do the trick very nicely!!
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Old December 12th, 2004, 03:53 PM   #33
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That thing looks massive on them pics, those GE-Pratt&Whitney GP7200 are flying now on a test aircraft for the next few weeks and the they will do again for a few weeks next year.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 06:50 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andysimo123
That thing looks massive on them pics, those GE-Pratt&Whitney GP7200 are flying now on a test aircraft for the next few weeks and the they will do again for a few weeks next year.
I read yesterday that the General Electric-Pratt & Whitney GP7200 and the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 are tied in the total sales of engines, but Rolls-Royce is selling to a greater variety of airlines, while the GP7200 has fewer airline customers, but was chosen by Emirates for their massive A380 order of fourty plus planes.

For comparisons sake, both engine types for the A380 can produce just over 80,000 lbs (i.e., pounds) of thrust, but the General Electric GE90-115B which is for the Boeing 777-200LR which is still in development, set a Guinness world record when it was tested and produced 123,000 lbs. of thrust!!

Last edited by Nick in Atlanta; December 12th, 2004 at 07:00 PM.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 07:21 PM   #35
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i don't live far away from Frankfurt and i will like it to see this giant flying over my house !
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Old December 13th, 2004, 12:46 AM   #36
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I should see it soon to but will have to wait a while till Air France or Virgin get them.
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Old December 13th, 2004, 01:05 AM   #37
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Do you think Virgin will use them from Manchester to Orlando?
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Old December 14th, 2004, 01:23 AM   #38
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Maybe, what are they currently using there? I could see a few fights from Manchester to New York with them. Replacing some of the 747s.
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Old December 20th, 2004, 06:40 AM   #39
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Old December 21st, 2004, 10:00 AM   #40
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Super threat to Boeing crown

December 21, 2004



A model of the first-class bar and sitting room of the new Airbus A380. The world's largest commercial jetliner is due to begin its test flight next month and the company hopes the 450,000-kilogram behemoth will silence its critics in the airline industry.

Its wings stretch nearly the length of a football field, about 15 metres longer than any plane in the air today. Nose to tail, it is longer than two blue whales. Inside the cabin, it has room for at least 550 passengers - and as many as 1,000.

The world's largest commercial aircraft - the Airbus A380 - sits in a factory at Toulouse in southwestern France, awaiting its unveiling next month. Then in the spring, it faces a critical flight test that Airbus SAS hopes will answer naysayers' questions about the 450,000-kilogram behemoth.

Safety experts have raised concerns about how airlines will be able to evacuate so many passengers in an emergency. Pilots worry whether runways are wide enough to accommodate the huge jet in the event of an engine failure.

Airports are spending millions of dollars to strengthen taxiways and build double-decker jet bridges for quick boarding to avoid cramped terminals.

The A380 poses a profound threat to Boeing's crown jewel, the 747, which has reigned as the largest passenger plane for the past 30 years. It symbolises the latest blow to Boeing's once-predominant position in aircraft manufacturing. Airbus, which receives funding from four European countries, surpassed Boeing last year to become the world's biggest maker of commercial airplanes.

The US$12 billion (HK$93.6-billion) superjumbo, already US$2 billion over budget, offers luxury options never enjoyed aboard a commercial airliner. Passengers will be greeted on the lower deck not by a cramped galley but by a wide staircase to the upper level where first- and business-class passengers will be seated. Each first-class seat will fold open into a bed stretching the depth of two or three rows of coach. On the lower deck, the coach section will look similar to airlines today, with just an extra inch of width in each seat. Airbus envisions that airlines will use the ample space aboard the long-haul plane for cocktail lounges, waterfall fountains and private suites that serve as in-air bedrooms and double as business meeting areas.

The Airbus A380 is ``the new modern airplane of the future'', said John Leahy, an American who is Airbus' executive vice-president for customer affairs. ``Just like the 747, it changed the way we flew so we could cross oceans and it gave us more space. [The A380] will be more the mentality of a cruise ship ... to get up, have a drink, visit with some friends.''

But sceptics doubt many airlines will invest in costly luxuries when they place their orders. Instead, they say, the carriers will likely want to cram as many passengers aboard as possible to maximise profit.

Several United States airline executives and consultants said its size will result in passengers feeling like cattle - first crammed into an airport terminal and then slowly loaded onto the aircraft. ``What's in it for me to sit on an airplane with 500 other people, wait for my bags with 500 other people, check in with 500 other people?'' Continental Airlines chief executive Gordon Bethune asked a travel industry group last year.

Airbus is convinced the aircraft is the right model for increasingly congested skies and shifting patterns of global wealth. As crowded international hubs begin to limit the number of flights from each carrier, Airbus believes the A380 - with 144 more seats than the 747 - will be regarded as the more profitable aircraft.

``There will be quite a few more people flying than today,'' Leahy said. ``We can't just keep putting people into more and more airplanes.''

Airbus envisions vast increases in air travel in Asia and the Middle East, with much slower growth in the US. The company hopes to sell more than half of its superjumbos to airlines in developing nations in Asia, where a growing middle class doesn't fly very much now but increasingly has the financial means to do so. Executives point to figures that show China's aviation industry is rapidly expanding, with an expected growth of 8.5 per cent annually over the next several years.

By contrast, Americans fly more often per capita than any other travellers in the world, but growth in passenger traffic has largely matured at a 2.7 per cent annual rate. Although many foreign carriers plan to fly the jet into some US airports, Airbus does not expect early orders for the US$250 million aircraft from financially struggling US carriers. Cargo company FedEx is the American exception. It has ordered 10 cargo versions.

The megaplane broadens Airbus' assault on Boeing's lead in world aviation. Another Airbus jet, the A340-600, this year began flying the world's longest non-stop flight from Singapore to New York, an 18½-hour journey. Airbus' smaller planes have become a favourite of low-fare carriers such as JetBlue Airways, and some analysts said the competition forced Boeing to shake up its top sales executives earlier this month.

Airbus also announced plans this month to build a plane to compete with Boeing's new 7E7 Dreamliner, a double-aisle aircraft scheduled to debut in 2008. The 7E7, Boeing's first new aircraft in a decade, is aimed at the growing market for mid-size aircraft flown by low-fare carriers. It is designed to have fuel-efficient engines and is constructed of materials that are lighter weight than those usually found on commercial airliners.

Airbus' A350, which is expected to be approved by the company's owner, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, hopes to compete with the 7E7 on fuel efficiency.

The rivalry between the two companies erupted into a trade war in October when the US and Europe charged that the other unfairly subsidised its domestic airplane manufacturer. The companies are competing for stakes in an estimated US$2 trillion aircraft market over the next 20 years.

Boeing has the opposite view of the future of commercial aviation and said it has no plans to develop a superjumbo to compete with the Airbus A380.

Although it once considered jointly building a giant plane with Airbus, the Chicago company now says it sees no profit and no market for such a plane. The A380 ``just doesn't make sense'', said Randy Baseler, Boeing's commercial airplane vice-president for marketing. ``We know airplane sizes are going down.''

Several US aviation analysts agree that Airbus may have difficulty turning a profit on aircraft. The company has sold the jet at reported discounts of 35-40 per cent, said Frost & Sullivan, which means it would have to sell 325 aircraft to break even.

Airbus said it needs to sell 250 for the project's success.

Airbus contends that its A380 is arriving at an ideal time - just as airlines will be looking to replace their ageing Boeing 747s. By offering more room and greater luxury than the 747, the A380 will shake up the entire market for large aircraft, according to one of the early architects. ``It's like the atomic bomb,'' senior vice-president of product strategy Philippe Jarry said.

Since the top-flight amenities will largely be found in first class, coach passengers - with their one extra inch in seat width and no benefit in leg room - may not recognise the jet's revolutionary aspects. Airbus says, however, that fares for the A380 should be attractive because its fuel-efficient engines will reduce operating costs.

Airbus has sold 139 of the A380s, mostly to government-backed airlines. Its largest customer is Emirates, a rapidly expanding state-owned carrier based in Dubai.

Etihad Airways, based in the United Arab Emirates and barely a year old, has ordered three superjumbos.

Singapore Airlines - the carrier with its 18-hour daily flights - will be the first to fly the A380.

Some European carriers, including Virgin Atlantic and Air France, have delayed delivery of the A380.

THE WASHINGTON POST
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