Posted by: akooness | March 19, 2008

Aviation Industry…

Over the past years, we can see how the aviation industry has developed, from B-707s to the modern jumbo, to the latest A380. While, it is relatively new to the market, it has brought new features which have increased the expectations for future planes. The A380 is an airplane supplied by the Airbus to offer competition to the Boeing’s monopoly, mainly against the B-747, by using a more efficient petroleum system, being less noise productive, and upgrading the services on a offered in a regular airplane.

The A380 was officially launched in the fourth quarter of 2005 by Airbus. Airbus is a European-based company in the aeronautics industry sponsored mainly by Spain, France and Germany and supported by Britain. The Airbus and Boeing have been in competition for a long time and Boeing has had the upper hand for a long time, however the A380 was launched in order to try and change the outcome for the time. The A380 did significantly well compared to other Airbus launches, and became quite popular among the common population instantaneously.

The A380 consumes less gasoline than a regular Boeing. The A380 has been built with excellent technology in comparison to other planes; especially B-747 which was first built in 1969, and has had modifications with time. The A380 utilizes seventeen percent less fuel per seat in comparison with the Boeing. This is caused by lightweight parts which have recently been invented with the new technology in the aerodynamics field.

The A380 is a very large plane compared to the B-747. It has two decks; an upper and a lower deck, each filled with luxurious facilities. The lower deck includes one deluxe bar-restaurant, one mini-shop offering an active duty-free store. The lower deck also has 334 seats of the economy class while the other 104 seats are on the upper deck. All the 96 business-class seats are situated on the upper deck and offer a lot of comfort to the passenger by keeping the class spacious. The exclusive “R”-class are located only on the front-end of the lower deck. The “R”-class seats are also known as the suites and are very exclusive and are limited to only about 10-20 seats, depending on each individual company’s requirements. These suites are unique with fine furnished rooms and with small televisions to accompany that. Although computers are available in the “R”-class, many of the business-class also has a small LCD screen television with a remote control. The economy class is less luxurious but still has small televisions built within back parts of each seat with a remote control. Computers may be powered within the whole aircraft and Wi-Fi Internet will also be compatible in this airplane. The business-class is built so that it is in a 2 by 1 configuration allowing space between seats and with a beautiful view if your seat is next to a window. The economy class has a 2-3-2 structure, which allows for an average human space in between every two, then three, and then two seats again. Also, some cabins also have a 3-4-3 configuration for the economy-class. With a 3-class configuration, the A380 may carry 555 passengers, but some companies may choose to purchase a 2-class airplane which offers 653 seats, or a completely economy-class based airplane offering 853 seats. The B-747 can handle approximately one hundred less passengers than a full A380 with all the three classes which consist of 525 seats. This modification is not available in the B-747. Many of these modifications in the A380 may vary according to each airline and its needs.

The A380 weighs around 270-280,000 kilograms and may carry around twice the amount of its weight whereas the B-747 weights around 100,000 kilograms less than the A380 and can carry a significantly less amount of weight which is around 400 thousand kilograms. In width, the A380 is 79.8 meters (wingspan) while the B-747 is only 64.8 meters, and the length of the A380 is 73 meters (from front to back) in comparison to that of the B-747’s 70.7 meters. The engine of both the B-747 and A380 are very similar in that they both have 4 turbofans. What makes a difference in the A380 is that it has the capability of a longer range in flight which goes up to 14,800 kilometers due to the more efficient usage of petrol which reduces the consumption to less than 35% of a normal B-747 while the B-747 has a range of 14,205 kilometers. Even though the A380 has a higher maximum speed than its rival, the average speed of the B-747 beats the A380 just by a margin of 5 kilometers per hour by cruising at 907 kilometers per hour. Furthermore, the A380 can just fly a bit higher in altitude by reaching to 43,000 feat in the air which allows it to obtain a higher top speed while the B-747, with its older system can reach just a little less, 41,000 feat.

The looks of both aircrafts is actually very simple. Both look like simple planes from the outside just varying in size. The A380 is on a larger scale-especially in wingspan, the design of the A380 is finer than the B-747 as in, it is practically the same design in a bigger version but tweaked to be more efficient, better-looking, and offer more outcomes.

“The largest passenger airliner ever built, the AIRBUS A380 has been a huge headache for its European manufacturer – a $6 billion headache, measured by the expected loss in earnings from production delays. Now the company is scrambling to keep its customers onboard.” As stated here by Time, the biggest concern for the A380 is the long time it takes to construct such a grand airplane and if they do not deliver it on time, many companies will start to purchase airplanes from arch rivals, Boeing. However, other problems include more expensive materials that has to be purchased for this airplane and stiff competition from Boeing. Boeing, being an American based company, and having a lot of trusted partners has brought tough competition for the Airbus and especially for the A380; Boeing planes get hundreds of orders a year, in fact the B-747 itself has had over a thousand sales in different models of the 747, however the Airbus, a European funded company has struggled in its own purpose to attract different airplane companies. Even after the fantastic launch of the A380, there were not a significant number of orders awaiting the Airbus. In fact, there have been only 177 total orders for the A380, and only one has been completed up to now. Boeing is still leading the airline industry with more and more orders for the B-747 and even more for the latest B-787 ‘Dreamliner’. Boeing has the monopoly and the A380 is the one chance Airbus has to change its future, otherwise it will be very hard to recover from the grandiloquent money used to develop and fund the A380 which, if it fails, will not only hurt Airbus, but also many European nations as they fund this company.

The A380 is an excellent airliner especially for the future where this large airplane will be able to carry many passengers using one airplane. The B-747 will lose against the A380 with time, but Boeing will regroup once the B-787 ‘Dreamliner’ is launched. The competition will be tough as the B-787 will fight for top position against the A380 and only time will determine whether the more known Boeing will win the fight or the ever-fighting Airbus will persevere and come out on top. However, one thing is certain that at least for the present time being, the A380 should be a winner for the Airbus as it is more fuel efficient (even more than a car), is more spacious, better uses technology, and creates less noise than any other available aircraft in today’s world.

 

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Responses

  1. The poster is mistaken about the A380 competing with the B787. The 787 will compete with the A350. What competition there is for the A380 is the 747-8.

  2. Of course, until or unless Boeing makes the 747-8, the A380 will dominate the 747-400. However, that’s not going to matter much. The 787 is so good that even though it’s half the size of a A380, it uses less than have the fuel and costs half as much. Per Revenue Passenger Mile, the 787 will be a much better deal.


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