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AIRBUS A380 - French tech kicks US ass

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AIRBUS A380 - French tech kicks US ass

Comments for: AIRBUS A380 - French tech kicks US ass
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 02, 2005 09:42AM

Ah the airplane that doesn't fit at most airports in the world. smiling
smiley Granted it's a nice piece of work, but with precious few airports planning on extending runways and building special terminals and ramps to connect to this thing I don't think it's going to be very popular for a long time. Even Pearson Internationals massive rebuild happening right now in Toronto doesn't include a single A380 gate as far as I know.
Mint Report This Comment
Date: October 02, 2005 12:36PM

747-400 took service in 1989. congrats for catching up
mikelz Report This Comment
Date: October 02, 2005 01:21PM

I don't want to die alone. I am getting on one of those.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 02, 2005 01:47PM

With the changes coming in air traffic control with point to point travel, the days of the big planes that just fly between large airports is about over. The A-380 will end up like the Concorde - useless. They have to sell nearly 700 planes just to break even on their development cost. But there is one positive, it helps the French overcome their tiny penis syndrome. Unfortunately they still have no business sense.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 02, 2005 03:26PM

A magnificent piece of engineering and a remarkable achievement to be sure, but most hubs around the world won't be able to handle such a large craft on their runways and taxiways. The 747-400 is about as large an aircraft as you'll need, and with a reliability record second to none, it will remain the finest passenger airliner ever built.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 02, 2005 04:12PM

This aircraft was built for sentimental reasons, not business ones. It was built because of a European, specifically French, inferiority complex. Boeing simply does not have the massive government subsidies to risk billions of dollars on a very dubious projects like the A380. Yes, the large hub system may become something of the past which will render large planes like the 747 and the A380 obsolete. Boeing is concentrating on smaller efficient aircraft like the Dreamliner. Of course now Airbus is whining to European governments for free money to develop a competing plane to the Dreamliner.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 02, 2005 05:04PM

Intelligent discussion, what a change of pace, if you don't want humor, but since I'm not buying or flying an Airbus, the best comment was "it helps the French overcome their tiny penis syndrome"
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 02, 2005 06:08PM

You don't know what you are talking about.
The A380 was built for international flights, not jump flights from Minneapolis to Seattle.

The largest problem with most international airports is not finding a ladder that is high enough to get to the door, but the number of flight paths available.

The A380 hold 35% MORE passengers than the 747, there by reducing traffic between international airports by 30%.

The basic aircraft is the 555 seat A380-800 (launch customer Emirates) maximum seating 848. The 590 ton MTOW 10,410km (5620nm) A380-800F freighter will be able to carry a 150 tonne payload and is due to enter service in 2008 (launch customer FedEx). Potential future models will include the shortened, 480 seat A380-700, and the stretched, 656 seat, A380-900.

On July 24, 2000, Emirates became the first customer making a firm order commitment, followed by Air France, International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic. Together these companies completed the 50 orders needed to launch the programme.
Later, the following companies also ordered the A380: FedEx (the launch customer for the A380-800F freighter), Qatar Airways, Lufthansa, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Etihad Airways, Thai Airways and UPS.

So far 150 aircraft have been ordered.

Looks like a lot of airlines don’t agree with you that it is TOO big. It has its purpose.

By the way, I don’t know where you got 700 for the break even point. According to this article on the BBC, it is 250.

“Noel Forgeard said he expected sales of the A380 to comfortably exceed 250, the number required for the huge aerospace project to break even.”
[news.bbc.co.uk]


Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 02, 2005 07:48PM

Kid yourself all you want but the break even BBC number of 250 is way off. The high estimate is 700, the low estimate is 450. Many countries are being blackmailed into buying the aircraft through all kinds of threats because the EU, specifically the French know this entire venture could turn out to be a major disaster.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 02, 2005 08:07PM

Don’t forget my friend, all governments mislead their citizens as to the actual costs of large projects, mostly because of ignorance. The American people were mislead by NASA about how cheap it would be to fly the space shuttle back and forth into space. Since Europe is heavily socialized, AIRBUS is basically a government enterprise and the 450 to 700 break even point on the A-380 is much closer to accurate than the 250 number reported by your BBC man.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 02, 2005 09:12PM

So what kind of arm twisting do you figure the French used on FedEx, UPS and International Lease Finance Corporation?
John_Stone Report This Comment
Date: October 02, 2005 09:37PM

The A320 has bad landing gear, that was the plane that made an emergency landing in LA recently. Pretty sparks from the nose landing gear which was twisted sideways just after takeoff. Hopefully they fixed that in the A380

And here's a comment from James Howard Kunstler, who believes that the oil age is fast coming to an end.

"[The A380] illustrates how poorly our whole society understands the obvious trends staring them in the face -- from the lumpen-workers on the factory floor to the burnished CEOs in the executive suites. As the world descends down the flight path of oil depletion, aviation will become far less of a mass consumer activity than it has been in recent decades. Soon, in fact, flying will once again become the preserve of the ultra-wealthy elite. The 'legacy' airlines are within a few years of going out of business. The last thing the world needs now are mega-gigantic airplanes designed for a hyper-mass market."

Maybe true, maybe not. Interesting comment.
Read more of his stuff: [kunstler.com]
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 03, 2005 05:18AM

So ... kunstler thinks that in a few years, folk that want to go from London to NY will be taking the boat???
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 03, 2005 05:30AM

There are more than 2,500 planes from the Airbus 320 family, which includes the Airbus 318, 319 and 321 models, in operation worldwide. Aviation safety officials Thursday said the planes have a good safety record.

Howard Plagens, a senior air safety investigator with the
National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating Wednesday's incident, called problems with landing gear "common."

At a news conference Thursday at LAX, he said he believed that passengers had no reason for concern about the safety of the Airbus fleet.

Two causes for the misaligned front wheels have been found.
A problem with misaligned wheels on a 1999 America West flight into Columbus, Ohio, was caused by a faulty seal on a valve. That design flaw had been known before the flight because of a previous incident and had been the subject of an advisory to airlines using the Airbus 320 planes. The fix had not yet been made on the aircraft involved in the emergency landing. After the flight, federal safety officials issued an order that required the repair.

The plane used in Flight 292 on Wednesday received its last routine maintenance Sept. 20 in New York, when a sensor that tells the pilot whether the airplane is off the ground was replaced. Investigators have yet to review all of the jet's maintenance records.

In those two cases, as well as two flights in other countries, the problems were traced to improper installation of a hydraulic shock absorber.

That problem also led to advisories to airlines, detailing mistakes that maintenance workers could make in installing the hydraulic shock absorber. The advisories warned that failure to comply with proper installation instructions "is dangerous for aircraft safety."

[news.yahoo.com]
Omm124570777 Report This Comment
Date: October 03, 2005 06:05AM

Dr. Susan Block flies back to Beverly Hills , Ca. ! She was in New Herbides ! She's gone Native and dances the ,Hula , on the plane ! Max is the pilot to safely land at Santa Monica , Airport !
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 03, 2005 06:06AM

All but 1 of the 6 previous failures have been traced to maintenance errors. Hardly what we could call a "global falt" in a product.

snip>
In those two cases, as well as two flights in other countries, the problems were traced to improper installation of a hydraulic shock absorber.
That problem also led to advisories to airlines, detailing mistakes that maintenance workers could make in installing the hydraulic shock absorber. The advisories warned that failure to comply with proper installation instructions "is dangerous for aircraft safety."
The plane used in Flight 292 on Wednesday received its last routine maintenance Sept. 20 in New York, when a sensor that tells the pilot whether the airplane is off the ground was replaced. Investigators have yet to review all of the jet's maintenance records.

The light indicated a problem with a landing gear shock absorber. A minute later, at 3:32 p.m., a second warning light appeared on the control panel. It indicated a problem with the nose wheel's steering.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 03, 2005 06:10AM

here is the CNN source for the above snips

[money.cnn.com]
Omm124570777 Report This Comment
Date: October 03, 2005 06:18AM

Dr.Susan Block flies off safely from New Herbides and goes safely to Beverly Hills , Ca . ! She's gone Native and dances the, Hula, to safely land in Santa Monica ! Max is the Pilot who safely flew the plane !
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 03, 2005 06:51AM

According to Aviation Safety :

AIRBUS 319, 320, 322 : 12 Accidents total

BOEING 737 series : 123 Accidents

[aviation-safety.net]

John_Stone Report This Comment
Date: October 03, 2005 03:04PM

[email protected]: No, Kunstler believes that the world is on the verge of "peak oil".. which means that 50% of all the oil will have been pumped out and used. Once this occurs (some say this year, but it could be 2010), oil will become ever more expensive. Since the USofA has made some terrible choices based on the availability of cheap oil - such as building vapid 'suburb' housing developments, we will be in a pile of shit when costs $200 or more to fill a gas tank.

Who, then, will be able to afford luxury aircraft? Less people will likely be flying, and therefore the need for mega-jumbo jets is, allegedly, about to plummet.
John_Stone Report This Comment
Date: October 03, 2005 03:07PM

Fair enough about the airplane safety stats... I hadn't looked into those. The JetBlue incident simply loomed large in the recent memory. Thanks.

Incidentally, I think Europe will be in a better place once Peak Oil becomes a reality... the use of mass transit (trains), better urban planning, and stronger communities in general will help. The US, however, is staring in the face of some trouble.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 03, 2005 05:35PM

I agree with you on both counts John. American's only understand when it hits em in the pocket. I used to drive around in a big king cab Ford F250 and thought nothing of it. Now I live in the UK and and it costs 65 pounds to fill the tank of my Ford Mondeo, that's $120 ! So you bet I'm driving a Ford with a 4 cylinder turbo diesel that gets 42mpg!

One thing to think about though on the big jetliner, an A380 uses only a few percent more fuel than a 747, but it carries 35% more passengers. That's one of the big attractions to the long distance airlines. Big fuel/seat savings.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 03, 2005 10:09PM

The safety stats posted are not quite as straight forward as they appear.

The 737 has been flying 20 years longer than the 320 series and thus is also based on 20 year older technology... was flying when navigation and weather prediction were also 20 year older technologies.

The 737 has sold ~45% more planes than the 320 series... more flights, more accidents. (~2400 vs. 4400)

All that being said though when you properly weigh the math the 320 still does have a respectible record against the 737.... depending how much you decide the age and technology issues play into the equation. Not faulting the 320 or the 737... just saying there is a lot more background information behind those numbers.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 04, 2005 04:37AM

Yes, it is easy to slight figures to say what you want.

Truth is, the 737 has done 10x as many flights as the A320, so they have similar flight records, but the A320 has a much better survivability rate.

But as you say, A320 is much newer tech. I just can't stand media that sensationalizes 1 failure to fulfil an anti French agenda and say that the plane is UNSAFE. Especially when the inverse is the truth.

Most of the failures have been from maintenance faults, not Airbus design faults.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 04, 2005 07:25AM

...and it's a =European= consortium effort, not just French tech
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 04, 2005 12:55PM

Back to the A-380, 45 of the total 132 passenger A-380 are for the government owned airline of the United Arab Emirates, an entity that has no regard whatsoever for economic prudence due to the fact they have more oil money than they know what to do with. 25 orders are from Air France and Lufthansa, airlines from nations with heavy investments in the A-380.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 04, 2005 06:20PM

Quite right, it is a European effort. It is too big a project for a country the size of Texas. Still I'm glad to see that finally the world has something new in aeronautics after 35 years.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 04, 2005 07:05PM

Taken from an article: Boeing believes passengers will prefer to fly smaller planes on services that connect more directly to destinations. Its 7E7 will be the lightest commercial airliner in the sky, Boeing claims, and the plane will be powered by the most efficient engines by far. These innovations, some experts say, more than compensate for the economies of scale that the A380 achieves.

"It would take less energy, and emit fewer pollutants, to fly several 7E7s from point A to point B than to put the same number of passengers on a single A380 for the trip,"
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 05, 2005 08:57AM

If Boeing believes it, it must be true.
slslea Report This Comment
Date: October 09, 2005 01:21AM

French tech kick US ass LOL not in a long shot bud. I guess he hasn't heard about our new plans doing mock 10 and ower new space crafts. Has french even been up in space yet?
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: October 09, 2005 11:23AM

"mock 10 and ower"? What does that mean, slslea?