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Old January 16th, 2005, 06:44 PM   #121
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Old January 16th, 2005, 07:45 PM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andysimo123
I really dont want to disappoint you but is very likely we will not see it fly in 2 days time. We know a finished one will be shown to the public but its not been said its going to try and take off.

No, tuesday is just the roll out.
The first fly is schedulled for the end of march, beggining of april... (I've heard March 31)
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Old January 16th, 2005, 07:50 PM   #123
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it won't flight in 2 day, it's "just" the inauguration. I think it will fly for the first time in March.

EDIT : Nephasto was faster
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Old January 16th, 2005, 10:35 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rufi
This makes me proud of beeing european

indeed. what an amazing mashine....
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Old January 16th, 2005, 10:58 PM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nephasto
No, tuesday is just the roll out.
The first fly is schedulled for the end of march, beggining of april... (I've heard March 31)
Ye I know. I was telling people it won't be flying so don't get your hopes up.
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Old January 16th, 2005, 11:05 PM   #126
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"makes me proud beeing european"-rufi


yea i would be to,i feel the same way when i see a 747.
hopefully the a380 is a sucess(not more than 747),but i still hope that boeing does better than airbus.
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Old January 17th, 2005, 01:05 AM   #127
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Longer, taller, wider A380 ready for takeoff
By Noelle Knox, USA TODAY
BRUSSELS — With the stakes sky-high, European aircraft maker Airbus this week shows the world what it hopes is the airplane of the future.

An employee works on the first Airbus A380 passenger jet Thursday near Toulouse, France.
By Christophe Ena, AP

Tuesday, the company will unveil its gargantuan A380, a double-deck aircraft that can carry at least 555 passengers. The plane is longer, taller and wider — wingtip to wingtip — than the White House. (Related photos: Airbus unveils A380)

In a sprawling manufacturing plant at Airbus' headquarters in Toulouse, France, aerospace industry leaders and top government officials from Great Britain, France, Germany and Spain will gather for the ceremonial debut. Airbus has spent more than a decade developing the plane, which is expected to begin carrying passengers next year.

Riding on the success of the plane is European pride and an enormous amount of money. The A380 will replace Boeing's 747 as the largest passenger plane, and could crush Boeing's chances of regaining its place as the No. 1 commercial plane manufacturer, a title Boeing lost to Airbus in 2003.

The huge plane reflects the Airbus belief that airlines will turn to high-capacity aircraft to unclog the current congestion in air travel, and to handle an expected explosion in the number of travelers in the coming years. If the calculation is correct, Airbus is well-positioned to meet the demand and take long-term command of the $55 billion aircraft manufacturing industry from U.S. rival Boeing.

"It's the realization of a dream of many people to build an airplane to change air transport in the 21st century, the way the (Boeing) 747 changed air transport in the 20th century," says Airbus executive John Leahy. The A380 has been a source of friction not only between Airbus and Boeing, but also between Europe and the USA, because both companies rely heavily on government subsidies to help with development costs. To avert a massive trade war, diplomats on both sides said last week that they will try to reach a settlement within 90 days on the amounts and types of aid that should be allowed.

In the fight for dominance, Boeing today lags Airbus only slightly in plane sales. But their strategies for tomorrow are fundamentally different. While Airbus is gambling on its giant new plane, Boeing is betting on the 7E7 Dreamliner, a smaller 250-passenger plane, to be unveiled at the end of next year.

The cost of developing each new plane is too great for either company to back down now. Airbus, however, recently hedged its bet by committing to developing a new 250-seat plane to go head-to-head with Boeing's 7E7. Airbus plans to introduce its A350 at the end of the decade.

For now, Philip Finnegan, of aerospace consultant Teal Group, gives Airbus the clear advantage. Boeing is vulnerable to financial difficulties of the big U.S. airlines, he says. Also, recent investigations of its defense business might distract management, he said.

Massive investment

Airbus has spent $13 billion developing the A380, about $2 billion over budget. The mammoth plane has a matching price tag: $280 million, though many airlines have negotiated discounts. Aviation regulators will begin the safety certification process with the first test flights during the first half of this year. The first planes will be delivered to Singapore Airlines in mid-2006 and are expected to be used for the carrier's route to San Francisco, and later to Los Angeles and New York. Other customers include Virgin Atlantic, Air France, Lufthansa and Emirates.

So far, no orders have come from U.S. passenger airlines, many of which are struggling, though U.S. transporters FedEx and UPS have signed up for cargo versions.

It seems unlikely U.S. passenger airlines will place orders very soon, Finnegan says. "There is the problem of the financial conditions of the airlines, but you also have a problem of perception — that it's not a passenger-friendly airplane."

That view arises, he says, from the fact that so many passengers will have to get on and off the airplane and get their luggage at the same time.

Nevertheless, Emirates airlines, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has signed the largest deal: 45 planes. The order is part of its plan to turn Dubai into a global tourism and transportation hub.

The carrier plans to put "in-air bedrooms" in first-class sections that can be closed off from the rest of the cabin. Each bedroom suite will have a minibar, closet and footrest that can be turned into a second chair for a business meeting.

The cabin also will have high-tech lighting to help passengers' body clocks adjust to new time zones and reduce jet lag.

Emirates spokesman Mike Simon calls the A380 "the perfect plane for us to build and develop into the future." Simon dismisses Boeing's 747-400 as "old technology."

Emirates now flies Boeing 777s, and has ordered more. As for the new 7E7 Dreamliner, Simon says, "We're looking at it, but the present version ... doesn't carry enough passengers."

More than 60 airports worldwide, including about a dozen in the USA, are spending millions to modify airfields and gate areas, and to reinforce runways and taxiways, to accommodate the A380. Los Angeles International, for one, expects to spend at least $53 million. Among changes: The roads for airport service vehicles that run parallel to the taxiways will have to be moved farther away because of the plane's wingspan.

Divergent visions

Until the mid-1990s, Boeing and Airbus shared a common vision for aviation, and produced a comparable line of planes. Both companies still expect passenger traffic to double in 15 years; "The difference (now) is how we view the evolution of the market," Boeing executive Randy Baseler says.

Changing conditions are driving demand for smaller planes, he says. Passengers want flexibility. Smaller airliners can now fly longer distances. There's more competition among the airlines, and countries are imposing fewer flight restrictions on foreign carriers.

Baseler cites Boeing's own experience with customer demand as a case in point. In 1985, when Boeing introduced the first 200-seat plane that could cross the Atlantic, the 767, it immediately started stealing market share from the larger 747 — even though the smaller plane costs one-fifth more to operate per seat-mile. "Why did that happen? Because passengers want more frequencies and more non-stops," Baseler says.

Boeing saw the same trend on Asian routes when it launched the 300-seat 777-ER in the 1990s.

That's why Boeing is spending up to $10 billion to develop the midsize 7E7 Dreamliner.

The 7E7 will be able to fly non-stop between almost any two airports in the world. The body is made from carbon-fiber reinforced plastic — aviation technology never attempted on this scale. The superlight plane will use 20% less fuel than other planes of the same size. With the new reinforced plastic body, the planes will have much larger windows, improved pressurization to minimize ear-popping during takeoffs and landings, and more humidity to ease passengers' dry throats and eyes.

The 7E7, with a price tag of $120 million, will be unveiled at the end of next year, and Japan's All Nippon Airways will be the first to start flying the planes in 2008.

Baseler says Airbus' plans to build the midsize A350, "basically takes their 20-year product strategy and throws it out the window." Airbus' Leahy disputes that interpretation.

Keeping an eye out for orders

Airbus has 149 orders for the A380, and needs another 101 to break even on its investment.

So far, Boeing has received 56 orders for the 7E7 — about one-quarter of its projections. Only one major U.S. airline, Continental, has placed an order.

Baseler says Boeing is mulling its future as a maker of jumbo jets.

At a meeting last fall in Hong Kong, he said the major airlines questioned whether Boeing will build a "stretched" version of the 747. The slightly longer plane could carry 450 passengers and — using the engines from the 7E7 — also fly a bit farther.

"They told us they need us to make a decision on it in the first half of 2005, so that's what we're in the midst of doing," Baseler says.

He has reason to wonder how airlines would respond if Boeing does commit to a stretched 747. Boeing hasn't sold a passenger version of the 747 since 2002 — another reason the company laughs off Airbus' big sales projections for the A380.

But only bigger airplanes can accommodate the explosive growth in air travel, says R.E.G. (Ronald) Davies, curator of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington. Airports can't cope with the traffic created by maintaining the same size planes and increasing flight frequencies, he says.

Davies says Boeing, which ruled the market for jumbo jets for 35 years, got off track in 1995 when it scrapped plans for a 600-seat airliner. An anticipated order for the proposed airliner from British Airways didn't materialize, and Boeing pulled back.

"They canceled the plane instead of having faith," Davies says.

Contributing: Gary Stoller in Connecticut
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Old January 17th, 2005, 03:03 AM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
CX purchased old 747s to convert into cargo planes amidst booming traffic. Airlines and the manufacturers usually use options in case more aircraft is needed in the future.
10 extra 747 for cargo?? seems a lot. Is it a delivery spanning over couple of years?


By signing order contract as "option", the airline has the right not to buy more planes w/o penalty in case the market can't take it, right?
So what's the difference between a contract saying airline might buy it vs signing a firm order contract whenever plane are needed??
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Old January 17th, 2005, 03:52 AM   #129
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Actually, here is the press release from Cathay. Not all of the 747s will become cargo planes. It's actually very hard to contract on something that is not certain to happen. Airlines usually want some room to maneuvre in case economic situations change, so options are oftentimes used. I'm not too sure how the intricacies work. You'll need to ask an aviation specialist for more information.

Press Release - 09 August 2004
"Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that its fleet will exceed 100 aircraft after committing to eight used Boeing 747-400s, half of which will be converted into freighters. The aircraft will be obtained from a number of owners and operators and arrive from now through 2006. The airline plans to purchase seven and lease one other.

This acquisition follows orders made earlier this year for one new B747-400 freighter plus two new B777-300 and six new Airbus 330-300s to join the airline’s regional fleet. These combined commitments will swell the airline’s operating fleet from 86 all-wide-body aircraft at present to 103 in just over three years, after the final A330-300s arrive. This additional investment will add to the approximate 20 percent increase in passenger capacity made by the airline in the past two years.

Four of the newly acquired aircraft will support the expansion of Cathay Pacific’s passenger fleet, following a complete retrofit so that the aircraft and cabin meet the same standards as existing Cathay Pacific aircraft. The other four will be converted into freighters and deployed on trunk routes to Europe and North America.

In January this year, Cathay Pacific announced it would be the world’s first airline to take part in the new B747-400 passenger-to-freighter conversion programme, and has so far committed to convert six aircraft with options on six more."
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Old January 17th, 2005, 04:37 AM   #130
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wow, this plane is gonna blow boeing away by light years !!!

the first official flight is supposed to take place at the Paris Air June next june...but they are supposed to conduct the usual series of tests before no ? so there is much chance we see it fly way before (it's not gonna do its first flight directly to the paris air show where all the press and official , and enemies will look at it)...actually we even don't know if this plane can fly as it never did before...so next weeks are gonna be really interesting

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Old January 17th, 2005, 04:39 AM   #131
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now look at this plane, it's huuuuuge. so the real question is : can that aircraft fly ???

what do u think guys ??
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Old January 17th, 2005, 04:44 AM   #132
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of course it can fly you know how much money they've put into this airplane,and the trust of the engine is crazy
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Old January 17th, 2005, 04:49 AM   #133
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yeah i know it can fly of course...but there's a sort of mistery as it's the largest (commercial) plane ever built and it has never proven anything you know...u remember the titanic was the largest ship ever built at its time ? (well i don't wanna make any kind of comparation but just looking at this plane i'm just overwhelmed by its hugeness)

anyway the russian antonov is bigger i think and it flies regularly !

i can't wait to board this AV380 plane ! i think i will have the same kind of excitement i usually have on a rollercoaster !
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Old January 17th, 2005, 04:54 AM   #134
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the greatest thing about it is that with this plane it would be a bargain to go from europe to NYC : currently a Paris/london/frankfurt/or Amsterdam flight to NYC is about 300 € (350 USD).

we can expect the price to go down around 200 € (240 USD) and maybe even 100 € (120 USD) with the 800 passengers version

New-york's gonna be a suburb of Paris (or the reverse)
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Old January 17th, 2005, 04:57 AM   #135
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i don't expect prices to drop that much this thing is a fuel drinker and airliners would never drop the prices that much unless they were threatened with bankruptcy
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Old January 17th, 2005, 05:35 AM   #136
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no it's wrong, one of the greatest strenght of the AV380 is that it will consume around 20 % less fuel than a B747 and will be able to carry much more passengers !

so it should push the prices down, the companies will win on quantities of tickets sold !
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Old January 17th, 2005, 06:15 AM   #137
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hkskyline, thx for the info



if money is not an issue, planes could fly in virtually any size. I woundn't doubt a plane 20 times the size of 380 can't fly.
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Old January 17th, 2005, 06:26 AM   #138
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20 times bigger than the AV380 ??? are u crazy or what ??

i doubt even a plane twice bigger than this one could possibly fly safely ! not with today's technlogy knowledge
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Old January 17th, 2005, 06:30 AM   #139
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Imagine the day I board one of this! So exciting!
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Old January 17th, 2005, 06:47 AM   #140
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Let's just hope this isn't so big that it isn't efficient.
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