A380Plus: First analysis

By Bjorn Fehrm

 July 05, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Airbus launched the A380Plus development study at the Paris Air Show. The study packages several improvements to the A380, aimed at increasing the capacity and lowering the cost per passenger. The idea is to offer the advantages of an A380neo without changing the engines.

Does this work? We published a first reaction here. We now take a closer look at what was presented and analyze how the package will influence the economics of the A380.

The A380Plus package

The A380Plus acronym packages several improvements to the A380 that has been discussed over the last year’s. It also introduces new enhancements.

The total suite of improvements are summarized in Figure 1.

Figure 1. The improved areas in the A380Plus. Source: Airbus.

We will now go through these improvements one by one.

Improved fuel burn

The A380Plus program introduces a more effecient wing than the original A380 wing. The A380 has a wing of advanced design aerodynamically. The wing profile and high lift arrangements are state of the art, but the 80m maximum width box forced a relatively low wingspan compared to the aircraft’s size and weight.

This gave the A380 wing an aspect ratio of 7.5, a low value (A350 has 9.5). The typical Airbus wing fences raised this to an effective aspect ratio of 7.8. The low effective wingspan means the aircraft flies with a high induced drag. The induced drag at mid-cruise weight is 20% higher than the parasitic drag. Normal would be that the drag values would be similar, which they are for the A350-1000.

What saves the aerodynamics of the A380 is the effective packaging of the passenger payload for the aircraft. The fuselage wetted area per seat is 20% lower than the A350-1000.

The A380Plus split winglet improves the effective aspect ratio of the wing to 8.4. It changes the pressure distribution of the wing outwards.

To regain an optimal total pressure distribution (which shall be close to elliptical for the whole wing) adjustments are necessary to the wing’s surfaces. The sections outboard of the engines are retwisted and there is a 30mm recamber of the wingarea between the engines, Figure 2.

Figure 2. Aerodynamics changes to the A380 wings. Source: Airbus.

The Plus package also advertises the engine improvements that have been made by Rolls-Royce and Engine Alliance over the last year’s. The Plus program  announces no specific new PIPs (Product Improvement Packages) for the engines.

In total, the aerodynamic changes enables a slightly higher Max Take-Off Weight (MTOW +3t) and improve the fuel consumption on long flights by four percent. The improvement allows the higher capacity A380Plus to fly 80 passengers the same range as the standard A380, or fly the same passenger payload 300nm further, Figure 3.

Figure 3. Payload range of original A380 with reference cabin vs. A380Plus. Source: Airbus.

Cabin changes

Figure 4 details the cabin changes included in the Plus package. Many have been discussed before.

Figure 4. A380Plus cabin improvements. Source: Airbus.

New is the forward stair being moved aft and combined with the descending stair to the combined Flight and Cabin crew rest compartment.

New is also the option to replace the no. three doors on upper deck with plugs, holding two windows. This gives the correct cabin ambiance to the one row of business or two rows of economy seats that can be added when no door escape areas are needed.

We have been given example cabin configurations that details the gains. Figure 5 shows a reference layout with 497 seats, which is close to the delivered average of 494 seats.

Figure 5. A380 reference cabin with 497 seats. Source: Airbus.

The cabin has the typical four classes, common in recent A380 deliveries. Figure 6 shows a cabin where the Plus improvements have been applied. The seat count increase is 78 seats.

Figure 6. A380Plus cabin with 575 seats. Source: Airbus.

The option of blocking the third doors on the upper deck has not been used, but other enablers are in play. Example is the deletion of the upper sidewalls which allows reverse herringbone business seats at 42” pitch with equal bed lengths (seat angle is increased). 

Improved systems and maintenance procedures

The Plus package introduces improvements that will increase dispatch reliability and decrease maintenance time. The present third generation IFE (In Flight Entertainment) system is replaced with a fourth-generation system which is lighter and more reliable.

The A380 fuel system is complex. Fuel is pumped to and from the horizontal tailplane to minimize cruise drag. The system has 13 fuel tanks and 41 fuel pumps. To improve the system’s reliability, the simpler and more reliable A350 fuel pumps replace the A380 pumps.

A simplification is also the reduction to two waste tanks in the aircraft. Operational experience has shown the original four tanks to be overkill. Operational experience has also allowed reduction of maintenance tasks during base checks and heavy checks. This increases the aircraft’s availability with 1.6%.

Finally, the software in the aircraft’s FMS (Flight Management System) allows the aircraft’s fuel efficiency to be individually tracked. This means each aircraft can be flown closer to its individual capacity, allowing higher payloads on long flights (flight planning is no longer dictated by worst individual). 

Economical improvements

The aerodynamic changes and other improvements will decrease the cost per seat of an A380Plus. In the next article, we will examine if the changes make the A380Plus competitive with the seat mile cost of its main competitor, Boeing’s 777-9.

79 Comments on “A380Plus: First analysis

  1. It strikes me if they did certify the Trent-XWB (or something very close to it) for the A380/+, that with these improvements would make for a very impressive aircraft. An airline flying it on a congested route would dominate that route utterly.

    Can’t wait for the next article, see if these improvements alone can make for a significant upgrade on their own. More passengers, better aerodynamics; looks promising.

    Whether that’s enough to tempt an airline, who knows. It’ll work for some routes and the airline with them on such a route will win. Yes, it will win but that’s comparatively few airlines and routes.

    I still think that the long term problem is that once hooked on that commercial dominance, how then does an airline keep the supply of fresh aircraft going, when all your competitors have given up and aren’t buying A380s, or aren’t operating that route themselves any more? Going back down to a tiny thing like 777 or, even smaller, 787/A350, simple opens the route up to competition once again.

    If the A380 program does close it would spell long term market share loss for its biggest users, especially Emirates, on some important routes unless new runways and slots open up on busy routes. Can Emirates really afford to risk that? If Airbus announced tomorrow that the A380 was done with, Emirates have an unavoidable commercial problem several years down the line when their existing aircraft reach end of life. Or is their boss reckoning on having retired before then; it’ll be Someone Else’s Problem then?

    Or is all this merely an indicator that the long haul market is pretty much saturated, and that more passengers cannot be persuaded to fly no matter what the ticket price was? Even with a free ticket, I can’t see many people simply hopping on to a flight half way round the planet just for the hell of it.

    • «If the A380 program does close it would spell long term market share loss for its biggest users, especially Emirates, on some important routes unless new runways and slots open up on busy routes.»

      True, but how many routes are really affected? I think not that much. Maybe 10? Heathrow gets a third runway and new capacities. Beijing gets a new airport. And so on.

      Most people create future prognosis by extending current trends. But maybe in 20 years disruptive technologies like Hyperloop will replace many short haul flights on major airports and former short haul slots are available for additional long haul routes (with smaller aircraft than the A380)?

      The biggest problem regarding the future growth of Emirates in the next 8 years is the very, very limited slot availability in DXB. Emirates will not move to DWC before 2025 and DXB with 1.5 runways is not extensible. This is also the reason, why Emirates has not ordered the very much needed smaller aircraft like B787 or A350 so far. They have no slots for these small aircraft. They need to use the limited slots with the largest planes. Emirates will not lose market share, but future growth will be difficult in the next years. Emirates has not the flexibility like Qatar with the A320, A330, B787. Qatar can start new routes with “small” demand with a small A320 or B787-8/A330-200. Emirates can not operate such small routes. It’s extremely hard for Emirates to find new routes, where they are able to fill at least a large B777-300. And so Qatar opens new routes all the time and is growing rapidly. Emirates is not.

      • To add some points: Emirates ordered 70 A350 already 10 years ago in 2007 and it was expected, that Emirates would increase the order number over the years. Instead they cancelled the order and even 10 years later there is still no new order for smaller long haul aircrafts.

        The original plan was, to have the mega airport DWC fully operational in 2017. For this scenario Emirates made the order of 70 A350. Now DWC is probably fully operational between 2025 and 2035 and Emirates will not move to DWC before 2024/25. I’m sure this was one reason, why Emirates has cancelled the former order of A350. And 10 years later there is still no new order, although Emirates desperately needs smaller long-haul aircraft to continue to grow – like Qatar Airways

        • Guido and IvanDeramos, those are excellent points.

          There’s several slot congested airports around the world. I suppose it’s kind of weird; busy airports want A380s – more passengers = more revenue for the airport – but the airlines flying there are seemingly less likely to want to fly A380s. Perhaps the airports need to start sponsoring the A380+?! Probably less expensive than building another runway.

          Is Qatar’s hub a much bigger airport? If so, might it be possible to steal all that market share off Emirates, simply because they can fly more of the right kind of aircraft for the routes they want?

          I’m not convinced that Hyperloop has any real prospects. Any kind of crude capacity calculations based on required separation between trains, time to load / unload trains, likely train capacity, suggests that commercial justification is unlikely to be there. The faster it goes, the greater the separation requirement will be. The technical limitations driving that are i) how fast can it be made to brake, and ii) how many G can it afford to pull in an emergency stop without hurting passengers, iii) how far away from a crashed car does the car behind have to stop so that passengers can escape from the sealed and partially evacuated tube before the smoke and heat reaches them and makes escape impossible. These are serious safety challenges for Hyperloop, not dissimilar to the problems of running a long train tunnel, but as usual the Silicon Valley types are pressing ahead regardless in the hope that these problems will go away (they won’t). It might get built, but it’s not going to be a mass transit system like high speed train, or airlines.

          So I think the medium haul airlines are safe in the long run. Short haul may get swallowed up by high speed rail, or ultimately maglev trains.

          • To the extent that the constraint at DXB is takeoff/landing slots, there should be some new capacity available for Emirates when flydubai moves to DWC. That will move more than 100 daily departures out of DXB. As of January, the move was supposed to happen this quarter, although I think it may have been pushed until 2018.

            If the UK gets its act together on the Heathrow expansion and DWC is fully expanded over the next decade, I don’t see a long-term future for the A380, even with a plus or a neo program.

      • Another trend worth to be considered is the consolidation of the aviation industry. If transcontinental or even global airlines emerge, VLA become interesting again.

        • Why? The biggest airlines do not operate the A380 so far. Even a transcontinental airline might be very successful operating 777s or A350s or even smaller types by offering more direct connections or operating more, but smaller hubs.

          • I was writing about the situation in a consolidated aviation market. Let us say, for example, NAFTA and EU shared a common aviation market which, after mergers and acquisitions, is dominated by 4-5 major airlines only. For such airlines an A380neo will be ideal for connecting its major hubs on each side of the Atlantic.

            Currently the global market is simply too fragmented and the risk of not being able to fill a A380 is too high.

        • The A380 has very limited appeal for most airlines. An upgraded A380 will not stir more interest in the plane. Too few routes, too few airports for the A380 and very little flexibility in taking over a wide range of new routes. Without EK, the A380 is dead in the water and the large twins are selling very well. I don’t feel the A380 will continue to sell past 2020.
          Just my 2 cents worth.

    • Fabrice Brégier has said that there is ‘no business case’ for the [Trent XWB]. Neo:ing the A380 will have to wait for the next gen of engine technology, such as RR Advance or UltraFan.

    • Matthew,

      When you say “It strikes me if they did certify the Trent-XWB (or something very close to it) for the A380/+, that with these improvements would make for a very impressive aircraft. An airline flying it on a congested route would dominate that route utterly”, I think you may be overstating the case.

      Even with the Trent-XWB engine, the A380’s CASM will likely be similar or at best marginally better than the 777-9. On the downside, it will have far less freight capacity and presents that many more seats that need to be consistently filled (not just during peak season). There likely aren’t that many routes where even under the best of circumstances this new A380 would displace all competitors.

      The wild card may be what Airbus and Boeing choose to do on the pricing front – Airbus can certainly use the A380 as a way to keep a lid on Boeing’s ability to make money on the 777-9, but that in turn would trickle down to Boeing putting a lid on Airbus’ ability to make money on the A350-1000.

      • Bruce Levitt, you’re almost certainly correct. It probably wouldn’t make commercial sense, but from a passenger point of view it would be quite impressive. It’s already quite a quiet aircraft, and it would probably be quieter still with the XWB’s engines.

        From what I’ve heard of Emirates’ Manchester Dubai service, passengers weren’t buying tickets on the 777 flight, but were for the A380 flights. Emirates swapped the 777 for another A380, suddenly that flight became busier.

        If someone were commercially brave (mad?) enough to actually buy and operate it, that’s probably the one passengers would choose, if the ticket price was comparable to the competition.

        • I still wonder if it is just the aircraft. The A380 has wider seats than a 777 with 10 abreast. Would more people fly the 777 if they had a 9 abreast configuration? It might then not have as low seat costs though.

          • Probably, I hardly ever flew on 10 wide 777s until I was left with no choice. Since then Ive had to use them but the flight I’m on always seen ti have aparece seats.

        • “From what I’ve heard of Emirates’ Manchester Dubai service, passengers weren’t buying tickets on the 777 flight, but were for the A380 flights. Emirates swapped the 777 for another A380, suddenly that flight became busier.”


          Or could it be they switched to the A380 because, possibly, maybe, demand was there to fill the aircraft.

          Because I have a hard time believing the average passenger would scrap their trip because they are savvy enough to know the aircraft type flown, and not simply because of ticket price.

          • he didnt say they ‘would scrap their trip’ as you say. Just the passengers traffic across both services was more balanced. Regular passengers may get over travelling on A380 but infrequent ones still like the whole ‘theatre of the A380’. Why not give them what they want since all the other widebodys are peas in a pod to passengers

          • Manchester went from double to triple daily Emirates A380, The 380 service from Birmingham however is not geared for premium travellors being only 2 classes and 615 seats.

  2. I don’t think they certified the engine for the A380. They used an A380 as flying testbed for the certification program but I don’t think this qualifies the engine to be regularly flown on this plane.

    Otherwise the 747SP would have a huge variety of engines certified on that plane.

    • Fly by wire controls/ computerised controls add a whole level of complexity to test flying engines, thats why old ‘wires and pulleys’ plane like the 747SP still does its duty for test flying.
      I have heard an A340 didi duty for GTF test flying as well, but that was after the bulk of testing was on the 747SP

  3. Hello Bjorn,

    could you rate the often heard rumor, that the suitspot of the A380 wing efficiency is at higher MTOW (A380F/A380-900)? If true, what change is needed to shift this suitspot?

    I wonder that Airbus didn’t take into account two other options:
    1.) Streching the fuselage (with existing engines). This could reduce the seat mile costs a lot. They would trade range for seat mile costs, but most A380 fly mid range routes (DXB-Europe or LHR-JFK). This would be a perfect replacement for existing A380s at Emirates.
    2.) A 2+6+2 seat arrangement with premium economy seats outside and standard economy between the aisles


    • The structure and wing area of the wing was built for the A380-900 (and A380-800F). Both of which did not materialise.

      So the A380-800 is “over-winged”. Which means:
      – Too much wetted area (drag)
      – Too much structure (weight)
      – Too large an empennage to provide control authority (weight)

      As Bjorn has also said, the wing is span restricted to the 80m gate. This meant that the induced drag was a higher proportion of the total than normal – even considering the larger than ideal zero-lift drag from the oversized wing.

      They’ve clawed some of the induced drag down with this winglet/reprofile. But they are still quite a ways short of where an “ideal” A380-800 wing would be.

      • A bigger span wing would be heavier, which is where the 777X wing went, but the extra lift allowed a lower max thrust engine. Its very complicated tradeoffs.

        • That is the fun part about engineering.

          No free lunch, you can pull tricks out (per what the proposal is) but that cost research money and development.

  4. What is a “development study” anyway? Are they studying to develop these improvements.

    • Airbus will introduce the final improvements (wingtips, fuel pumps etc) when a big enough customer order arrives.

  5. Yeah, you are right. They will start studying these improvements if enough customers commit to new orders.

    They could also launch a public auction:

    If 10 planes are ordered, you get the Winlets.
    If 25 planes are ordered we update the fuel pumps.
    250 planes and you get the XWB on the wing.

  6. The new forward stairs, saving 20 seats are too efficient. Maybe make one that saves 14 seats..

    It seems that there are many compromises to go, the airlines decide.

    • What extra passenger capacity and payload mean is a higher selling price. But you are part right , Emirates seems to be interested in its own mix of the options.

      • Not necessarily. Airbus says they are loosing a bit of money on it right now.

        That’s back to a balance decisions, do you loose a bit more and maybe keep the line going?

        Can you make these mods and get Emirates to pay for them? (the only big order on the books)

        Like engineering, its a juggling act.

  7. They just need to keep it going until the next generation engines arrive. Next generation engines will mean that Airbus will sell 300-500 more because of airport conjestion. But the future appears to be frequency and city pairs

    • I don’t think that new engines alone will make the A380 a good selling aircraft. If Airbus introduces a new engine generation for the A380, Boeing will respond with new engines on the 777x and we have the same situation as now.

      The airframe itself must provide better economics than smaller aircraft with engine of the same generation. Otherwise slot restrictions will be the only argument to buy the bigger aircraft.

      • The A380 is very close to the seat/mile costs of the 777X, provided it is full. The issue is that it must be full. A new engine varient will also include weight reductions thereby taking it out of the reach of the 777X

        Further, Airbus will stretch the A350 again when the time comes to NEO the A350. The new engine will centreline on the A350-1000 and then be derated for the A350-1000 and uprated for the A350-1100(?).

        It is questionable as to whether the 777X will survive, especially when all of the evidence shows the A350 is exceeding its initial performance guarantees

        • Well there is a lot more interesting in the 777X (9) than the A350-1100.

          Evidence says otherwise.

        • 1.) All the NEO engines were much heavier than there predecessors. Why do you think this will be different for the A380?

          2.) The A350XWB just got the latest engine generation. With A320 and A330 Airbus had to wait ~30 years, until the engine technology evolved enough that a complete new engine generation made sense. This would mean, that we can expect the A350NEO in the year 2045.

          3.) The situation with 777x vs. A350XWB is the same as for A380 vs. 777X. Why should an airline take the bigger aircraft if the seat mile costs are not lower than for the smaller aircraft?

          • Phllip:

            If the Trent XWB is exceeding its the first time in quite some time an RR engine has, so I take that with a grain of PR salt and there is no competition to compare it to.

            The GP engine was bearing the RR on the A380 by a margin on fuel efficiency and lower maint. Suddenly with no changes RR magically became the better engine.

            Now we hear there is a performance package that is not a PIP and its having its issues.

            Thai just grounded 787s because of the Turbine bladee issue.

            The A350-900 has found a nice spot and kudos to Airbus (or plain good luck and or Airlines that just don’t like Boeing)

            The 1000 as noted not so much. The 11000? hmmmm

            The 800? DOA.

            And note that the A350 Chinese orders are government orders, frankly that is a political decision not a performance based one. Its a pool order by the Government to be allocated out to its airlines.

            And there is no way A350 is going to rate 13.

            Airbus has seen that Boeing with a much larger backlog having gone to rate 12 is not getting orders to fill that.

            Something around rate 8 would be inline with historic normal for that size aircraft. Inside of 4 years Boeing will drop the 787 to rate 10 or less.

            Singapore committed to its Boeing orders and that is good news for them.

            Right now momentum is on Boeing side.

            That goes back and forth.

          • Transworld

            Thanks for your personal view. Not worth reply to!

          • “And note that the A350 Chinese orders are government orders, frankly that is a political decision not a performance based one. Its a pool order by the Government to be allocated out to its airlines.”

            Would be the same for orders from Boeing- you cant just unilaterally say its ‘not performance based’
            the order may be pooled but they cant make the airlines take a plane they seriously dont want.

        • Just heard China as signed for 40 A350 XWBs. That is 70 sales already this year. This means the backlog is still close to 800 and will still be 750 if there are no more sales this year.

          So the evidence does say otherwise? Also note the 777X has the same sales profile as the A380

          Airbus will lose sales unless they increase A350 production to 13/month

          With regard to engines, I accept the Trent XWB is exceeding performance guarantees by some margin. So GE have a lot to do even to match the SFC of the Trent XWB never might exceed it by the stated goal of 5%.

          This then comes to the next generstion of engine. RR have publicly stated that it can be made available in the 2022-2026 timescale and will have a SFC up to 10% better. It will also be lighter.

          • The only 350 competing with the 777x is the 1000 model and it has a backlog of a little over 200 so it doesn’t seem to be a 777x killer.

          • The better-than-expected efficiency of the a350 [at this very early stage in it’s life] can and will be even more beneficial when Airbus focus from production ramp to continuous improvements and weight-reductions as they do with all their main models.

            Bodes very well for the a350 going forward – good on’em.

          • Looking at the mix of A350s going forward the fundamental issue is available slots. As a whole this frame has got a solid backlog of 6 years and with orders this year this is pushing back to 2025 quite quickly. So a major impediment on A351 sales is the success of the A359 sales. This more than other factors gives the B777x an angle.

            On another point it is starting to look a very good move for RR to have the Trent as a family as there are clear synergies of 1000 to XWB to 1000 TEN to 7000. As I ne’er stand it the XWB and the 1000 TEN are the state of the art engines out there now as tech from one feeds into another. This bodes well for the 7000 as well.

          • Just hear Qatar cancelled 4 A350

            Got them on lease from someone who did not want them.

          • The problem is you ramp up to fill the slots and those who need them get something else that fills the need if not as good.

            Boeing was going to rate 14 and now at 12 and they should be closer to 8 in 4 years.

            You miss the boat you miss the boat, that’s life and how it goes.

            Boeing missed a lot of 787 sales because it was very late. they may get those back on the next round but not this one.

        • “Further, Airbus will stretch the A350 again when the time comes to NEO the A350”

          I think they will offer a stretch sooner if they can. Depending on XWB-97 enhancements and demand. I think they’d prefer sooner so it would be easier to re-engine in the future.

          • I think they are going to concentrate on the 900 and 1000 and get the backlog down.

            The 1100 does not seem out there and as Lehey said, those sales are gone and its not enough interest to justify it.

          • If they did build the stretch earlier they don’t have the slots to produce it in numbers, unless they increase production to 12-13/month.

            We need to wait and see. The backlog is approximately 7 years and we already know the book to bill ratio will be at least 1 this year.

            Airbus are in a nice place at the moment. The only issue is the A380, which will have its day, but not in large numbers

          • I don’t think the A380 ever had its day and it never had numbers.

  8. I’ve seen many discussions on this but no confirmation airbus is standing by its 18 inch standard as minimum seat width (which others have advocated should be the law). Surely they wouldn’t compromise such an important human rights principle.

    • If they can get 18 inches in they wil.

      Ignore a basic human rights issue?

      They would pack us in sardine cans if they could.

      Of course they would.

      • Its a first world problem when you think 1/2 in narrower seat is a human rights issue ?
        BTW the 747 has had under 18in seats in economy since they moved from 9 across to 10 across in early 70s. Where was the outrage then.

  9. If you consider this ‘plus’ as the ‘airframe’ improvement component of a future ‘neo’, then Airbus is sensible to do this. Add engines in 10yrs when available/market needed.

    The internal cabin changes are ‘available’ for those who want them… Not forced, giving them options based on their wants and needs. Upstairs looks very doable. 11-abreast needs to use the more novel staggered/cozy-suite type seats to placate the lost space.

    It’s a nice solid update, giving operators choice.

  10. Bjorn: Brillaint job of explaining the wing details.

    Always interesting to read that.

    Its a skill that keeps it simple but does not loose the technical details of how and why.

    Well done. Good writing. I admire that tremendously.

    • Thanks. Many say the winglet works on the tip vortices. That is the misunderstanding. It works together with the whole wing to extend the pressure distribution so that the air flow experiences a larger wingspan. The tip vortices are affected but that change is not the primary mechanism for reducing the induced drag, the changed pressure distribution of the wing is.

      • Yes, winglets provide all the benefit of an equivalent span’s drag reduction, but none of the lift (since the lift is pointing toward the fuselage instead of upward). Span is better if the wing can handle the bending moment created by the lift. Winglet’s are a good choice if span is constrained, but less efficient than span.

        • Speaking of span; does anyone knows how much wider the 380+ will get? I assume the winglets are a bid wider than 10cm each; means the wing is out of (80m) box. But how much?

      • Bjorn: That was my understanding until a short while back and there was some corrections.

        Yours was by far the best explanation of not only what but how and why. Then why they would need to change the wing around as the distribution comes at a cost and you have to adjust for it.

        Always that engineering challenge, you can’t change one thing without affecting other aspects but often there is a solution allow it to work but that takes changes of its own.

  11. I remember Airbus starte neo-izing the 320 by introducing sharklets. the thing was called neo-ready, but it gave Airbus a few more years a very competitive airplane that is still sold and delivered besides the 320neo now!

    The 380 is a monopoly market. This means, you don t sell more 380 by reducing the price, as the demand basically stays the same. Airbus has expressed that they think the 380 was premature. This means they think they only have to wait and demand will come.

    So, all these changes could be a smart move. The question is what comes next. Maybe, if a 380neo comes, it should directly come as a 380-900neo with engines more of the 350size. This would save ressources at RR and would with 60 orders von Emirates fill the line for 5 years à 12 minimum.

    • I wonder if the a320 series ‘sharklets’ could be improved using the style and shape of the new split-scimitar wunglets for the a380+… knock 1-2% further off the SPC? Add a few 100 more nm to the LRs range?

      • The A320 could be improved by Winglets. The Sharklets stuff is PR nonsense.

        I have yes to see a shark with a wing.

        I hate cutesy PR terms for a technical device and that has been falling away back to what it should be called which is a winglet.

        It then can have an adjective added to describe a split type or the famous Scimitar shape that is much cooler looking and accurate description now used on the moded 737s but not chosen for the MAX which is a shame.

  12. Are the other upper deck doors close enough to allow door 3 to be plugged? How much does it lower the exit-limited passenger capacity?

  13. Wasn’t the Trent 900 specifically designed for the A380 ?? I know there have been some fuel burn upgrades since it’s introduction but I keep seeing all the comments about a new engine possibly in the works. Also, I don’t see a lot mentioned about not all airports being equipped to handle this large of an aircraft, I know we can’t here in Phoenix. The biggest aircraft we have coming in right is BAs 747 on the daily PHX-LHR route. There was a lot of fuss about this behemoth when it was introduced, but yet now it seems to be waning a bit. What happened ?? I went out of my way once to fly to Los Angeles to fly it to London and loved it, truly the quietest aircraft I have ever flown.

  14. Why compare AR to the A350? The 779 has an AR of 11. I wonder if Boeing would tweak this any further with a putative 777-10 response.

    • A possible 777K would be higher capacity and shorter range- so extra wing span isnt required. Could even be without the folding tips ?

  15. Which of these improvements would be feasible as an upgrade for existing A380s coming out of lease? Everything but the winglets and the wing modifications?

  16. Interesting to watch the evolution of the winglet. If raked wingtips are a good idea, these look more like upturned raked wingtips, unlike the rather upright winglets of the 757/767.

  17. A neo would have the range to do LHR-SYD…or SIN-NYC, SYD-NYC, LHR-MEL…perhaps this would increase demand from airlines far from the Middle East.

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