It’s been teased about the past few days by Airbus with images sneaking out with their an A380 with a high winglet.
Well – it has a name – The Airbus A380plus
The uplet and downlet of the A380plus (non flying version fitted to MSN004) – Image, Airbus
The Airbus A380plus – Rendering Airbus.
The A380plus pulls together a lot of the ideas have been putting out recently – namely the 80 extra seats you can place aboard the plane, whilst increasing efficiency and economics – and introducing larger winglets.
So the most striking feature of the plane – and one that aims to save 4% on fuel burn is the new winglet which is a lot larger than the current winglet fence. According to Airbus, the new winglets measure approximately 4,7 metres in height (a uplet of 3.5m, and a downlet of 1,2m), which aims to improve aerodynamics and reduce drag.
The A380plus will have an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 578 tonnes, allowing it to carry up to 80 more passengers on the range of the current A380 – or the ability to fly 300nm further. The A380 currently can fly up to 8,200nm
John Leahy, Airbus COO Customers in the launch of this study states
“The A380plus is an efficient way to offer even better economics and improved operational performance at the same time.
It is a new step for our iconic aircraft to best serve worldwide fast-growing traffic and the evolving needs of the A380 customers. The A380 is well-proven as the solution to increasing congestion at large airports, and in offering a unique, passenger-preferred experience.”
So this won’t be a neo type aircraft (mainly as new engines will not be offered – only Engine Alliance and Rolls Royce Engines at the moment) – rather it’s optimising the frame as Airbus did with the A320ceo before they moved forward wit the A320neo series.
I’m still not conceived on the proposed 11 across seating – see my thoughts on the latest version of the 11-across seat.
Are all these changes enough to push further more A380 orders? This is perhaps the biggest question of all.
Sales haven’t been too positive for the A380 for some time, with production currently down to 12 aircraft a year. Signing orders will be key to getting the A380plus air-borne, and they’ll need one of their biggest partners on the A380 project – Emirates – to back this plan.
Unless airlines suddenly plump for a mass renewal of their A380 fleets with A380plus aircraft – and that is unlikely to happen.
Certainly for fans of the SuperJumbo – this study could be one to watch – providing airlines back it.
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