Airbus Announces Termination of A380 Production

It is, as others have mentioned, down to the cabin layout. The cattle-class Air France was an object lesson in claustrophobia. Business class was better, but still (2017) without 'lie-flat' seats; if you have restless leg syndrome you'll know how enjoyable that is!

Qatar is my favourite in both classes.
You weren't wearing your Greenpeace rainbow warrior t-shirt perchance, were you ?
 
You weren't wearing your Greenpeace rainbow warrior t-shirt perchance, were you ?
By chance, I met a Frenchman in Nigeria who was involved in planning that. He was very proud of the operation
 
Isn’t there a problem at a lot of airports with the taxying/servicing/turn around arrangements? The airports weren’t designed for such a big aircraft.
Yes. It’s a ball ache of epic proportions. At Manchester all the runway holding points were moved back so the distance aircraft have to travel to get on and off the runway are increased which in turn increases the time needed to do that which slows down the number of movements achievable in a given time period. This is permanent, not just when the wretched thing is actually anywhere near the airport. Manchester also opted to pander to Emairates and place a dedicated stand at precisely the point where as it taxis in or out it blocks access to precisely every other part of the airport.

Vanity project has been mentioned several times and many airports fell into the honey here too; desperate to have the kudos of the A380 and / or Emirates on their patch yet oblivious to the problems that raises. At Gatwick and Manchester it is the only aircraft that can be on the approach because it blocks the ILS signals to aircraft behind it. At Manchester this means you go into the hood until it’s landed and then wait until it’s moving on the ground either. Vanity kicks in here again as policy is to put everyone else in the hold while it lands rather than vice versa.

Even airborne the damn thing creates problems as it needs wider separation minima than everything else so clogs up airspace and increases approach separation times. It’s been proven in at least one VERY nasty wake turbulence event and implicated in many more.

It’s also crap to fly on compared to the 787. For the avoidance of doubt, I’m not a fan.

Good riddance.
 
The best economy class seat is the RAF Voyager. Huuuuuuuuge seats!
You do realise that the Voyager used by the Prime Minister isn't a real Voyager, don't you? It's got special seats, a drinks trolley and all the cabin crew are from Emirates but disguised in RAF uniforms.

I bet PMTM has a little chuckle every time she boards it thinking of Tony and Cherie slumming it in a VC10 with propper, hairy RAF stewardesses and seats featuring disturbing stains on the upholstery. RAF is still the only airline I've been on where the crew swore at me (and it wasn't to say "Jump or I'll fekkin' push you").
 
IIRC Suvarnhabhumi Airport in Bangkok was the first to incorporate the 380 into the design (problems about the airport could fill an entire separate thread). I once flew into Manchester on one and I'm not sure how tight the runway length is to handle it but its one of the few times I have ever bricked myself when an aircraft landed. We were wallowing ant a very low speed and seemed to slam down at the earliest opportunity on clearing the fence. The brakes seemed to slam on and we were pretty close at the other end as well. Not my favorite landing. I think they had only put it on as a flight had been cancelled and they needed to get 2 flights of pax into Manchester

Problems I found with it were although a lovely finish inside as pointed out above the window seat sits about one or too inches too far from the bulkhead to sleep comfortably against it. Service was slow- I think they had 14 crew to feed the masses. It also takes ages to embark and disembark. Business Class is great though. A nice quiet cabin as well. If I want the comfort I will fly up to Bkk and go from there to Dubai as they fly 777s into Phuket due to the runway length. Edit: Just seen that Qatar had Dreamliners to Phuket and a nicer business config than the 777 so that will be the choice if needed.

As for it being a 'turkey' or a failure' it has been in service now for over ten years. Emirates are STILL buying them although on a smaller scale (the latest order is down from 58 to 12) and as one pundit pointed out they will still be in the skies for a projected 20-39 years. ANA have some on order, but whether they will be headed for european or trans pacific routes remains to be seen.
 
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Must be a personal thing.

I did LHR-Singapore recently, sardine out business back (Qantas).

At 6'1" I found the sardine experience excruciating but other, shortarse, colleagues were ok.

Business class was a delight but my inner squaddie may have influenced this opinion, with no driving at the arrival end, I may have got a bit drunk.


Tiny bit.
The last time I flew in the 380 was in BA from LHR - SIN, your exact route, on my way to OZ in economy. I actually found it OK, I am 6ft2. I was on the upper deck on the sides where there are only two seats and I was sitting on the aisle side, so that may have helped. And the plane was half empty in my section. And I probably had a good few drinks in the BA lounge before, so probably helped me with passing out for a good few hours on the journey.
 
The KC-46 contract for instance, despite the USAF wanting and selecting the A330 (KC-45?) as the winner, only for that decision to be overturned on appeal. Blatant US government interference here.

Major problems persist with the KC-46A, which will not be resolved for a few years, yet.
A familiar story.

When the US Marines were shopping for a new fleet of helicopters for the Presidential Flight, I believe they favoured a Eurocopter. No chance of that getting funding but I think Trump cancelled the order entirely when he saw the price. He now has to manage the 5 minute flight from Washington to Andrews without a USB charging port for his phone.

Similarly, the US Air Force looked in to buying A380s as the replacement for Air Force One. The distinguished gentlemen of the US government added a clause to the requirement spec stating that the planes had to be built in America, for security reasons of course. Not feasible to build an Airbus factory in America just for 3 planes so POTUS may well be the last person ever to fly on a 747.

The USAF were interested in the cargo version of the A380, I think to replace their very large cargo planes (Galaxy ?). In a fit of engineering genius, the Tefal Heads at Airbus made the floor separating the two decks structural. It can't be removed so the A380-C could not carry outsized loads and, as has been mentioned, other aircraft can carry containerised air freight more efficiently.
 
You do realise that the Voyager used by the Prime Minister isn't a real Voyager, don't you? It's got special seats, a drinks trolley and all the cabin crew are from Emirates but disguised in RAF uniforms.

I bet PMTM has a little chuckle every time she boards it thinking of Tony and Cherie slumming it in a VC10 with propper, hairy RAF stewardesses and seats featuring disturbing stains on the upholstery. RAF is still the only airline I've been on where the crew swore at me (and it wasn't to say "Jump or I'll fekkin' push you").
I always wondered why the UK doesn't have a dedicated aircraft for the PM. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, it ain't much. Are politicians here worried so much about optics? I mean they waste cash hand over fist ad everyone knows that.
 
Not sure that Airbus got the market wrong; there was no market for an aircraft of the A380s size when they started.

They built a market maker. An aircraft may have changed the way we fly long haul. But they failed to make the market.

A market making strategy is always high risk when compared to a matching strategy. Especially when technology moves as fast as it has recently.
There were a bundle of things going on at the time. People seem to be forgetting that Boeing was working on a two-deck 747, then abandoned the concept - seemingly when it realised that Airbus was making good progress.

Boeing then unilaterally declared that the market for really big aircraft was dead, and started work on the Dreamliner. One could ask the question of whether Boeing then went hard-sell on the hub-and-spoke principle in order to deep-six the 380.

Other things contributed to the A380 not always being economical viable. An assumption was separation distances when landing; Airbus assumed that it would be allowed the same separation distances from other aircraft as the 747. It got a rude shock when it was told that the A380 needed bigger distances (not sure how that panned out in the end, mind; perhaps someone here can add more).
 
I shall be flying 2 legs next week in my favoured seat - window at the back of first section (so I can lean back without interfering with anyone behind) on Emirates 777 then A380 cattle class. I'll try and remember to post my thoughts on which is better.
At least on BA, I prefer the A380 upper deck next to windows where there are only two seats. A typical flight to OZ for me on BA is the A380 to Singapore and then a switch over to the 777 from SIN-SYD leg.
 
A familiar story.

When the US Marines were shopping for a new fleet of helicopters for the Presidential Flight, I believe they favoured a Eurocopter. No chance of that getting funding but I think Trump cancelled the order entirely when he saw the price. He now has to manage the 5 minute flight from Washington to Andrews without a USB charging port for his phone.
It was actually an AugustaWestland (in conjunction with Lockheed and Bell) variant of AW101. And it was Obama who cancelled the program when it was actually being developed - and by the time they already spent about 4 billion USD on it.

Funny things defense contracts.

Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel - Wikipedia
 
My absolute best economy class experience was in Japan Airlines - consistently when I used to go to Tokyo a couple of times a year from London for work. My second best experience was surprisingly, on BA, on that exact same route when I couldn't get JAL (they codeshare). But that was one probably a one off - the problem with BA is the inconsistency - I've had some really good and really bad experiences across various classes.

Qatar for me though, is my new fav full service airline.

787 economy seats actually suck compared to most other planes, apart from a few operators who chose to have some additional inches of legroom.
Best economy seat I had recently was in a brand spanking new Bombardier C-Series (being rebranded as A220) with Swiss Air. A comparable, but smaller aircraft to A320 family and 737.
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It had rows of 2 & 3 seats rather than 3 & 3 seats and they had an almost bucket seat quality to them. Very comfortable.

Capture.JPG


Excellent service by the stewards marred only by the eye watering cost of a small bottle of wine, something like £14.

A pleasant short haul experience
 
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Best economy seat I had recently was in a brand spanking new Bombardier C-Series (being rebranded as A220) with Swiss Air. A comparable aircraft to A320 family and 737.

It had rows of 2 & 3 seats rather than 3 & 3 seats and they had an almost bucket seat quality to them. Very comfortable. Excellent service by the stewards marred only by the eye watering cost of a small bottle of wine, something like £14
I would like to try it out at some point. Flying from London City airport I also found some of the Embraers to be pretty good and spacious with good leg room. I don't quite remember which ones now, the E170 or 190.
 
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Didn't realize how much bigger it is than 747
 
I always wondered why the UK doesn't have a dedicated aircraft for the PM. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, it ain't much. Are politicians here worried so much about optics? I mean they waste cash hand over fist ad everyone knows that.
Tony Blair and his wife REALLY hated flying in VC10s. The seats faced backwards in the RAF models so take off was interesting to say the least and by the time Tony became PM the technology was nearly 40 years old. No business class in RAF planes either.

Even after an alleged £50,000 of upgraded seating was installed, Tony and his Missus still were not happy, not least because when travelling to international summit meetings, the French president turned up in a chartered Concorde, POTUS arrived in AF1 with AF2 and a flying 747 command centre in tow while poor Tony arrived in an Airborne Reliant Robin that belched smoke like a Glaswegian primary school pupil.

You do have to bear in mind that Mrs Blair demanded that the Prime Minister's suite in the Whitehall Nuclear War bunker should be redecorated so you can gauge the mentality of the Blair family.

They struggled on using a combination of chartered aircraft and the RAF's Royal Flight that consists of small business jets until ....

... thanks to a Freedom of Information investigation by a newspaper, it was revealed that Labour politicians were commandeering RAF jets to fly them home at weekends instead of getting the train. They were also making great use of some sort of ultra VIP lounge at Heathrow that cost hundreds of pounds for every visit.

Things came to a head when it was alleged that Tony had chartered a Boeing 777 to fly him and his family the 25 miles from Gatwick to Heathrow.

Tony responded to the furore by demanding a 777 for his exclusive use as well as a smaller, business jet for flights to Europe. The cost would have been over a billion quid. The press instantly dubbed the project "Blair Force One". Blair tried to say it was actually for the Royal Family but The Queen told him to feck off and pointed out that no Royal had travelled on the Royal Flight for years as it was always full of northern MPs flying to Blackpool for a dirty weekend with their secretaries.

In the end, Gordon Brown, then chancellor, refused to release the cash for Blair's vanity project.

The Voyager seems like a good compromise. Strictly speaking, it's a refuelling tanker (just like, strictly speaking, the Royal Yacht was a hospital ship). The seating is of the first class type but not extravagant. Might have been better if it incorporated a small office/cabin for the PM to work and sleep during long flights like the 757 "Air Force 2" planes the Americans use to transport government ministers but that will have to wait until some tabloid journalist upskirts the PM while she's asleep.
 
It was actually an AugustaWestland (in conjunction with Lockheed and Bell) variant of AW101. And it was Obama who cancelled the program when it was actually being developed - and by the time they already spent about 4 billion USD on it.

Funny things defense contracts.

Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel - Wikipedia
I only read the first three paragraphs . . . and despair . . . :( .

"In February 2009, President Barack Obama asked Secretary of Defense Robert Gates about placing the project on hold or canceling it because of its high cost: over $13 billion for the planned 28 helicopters.

In June 2009, the U.S. Navy terminated the contract after spending about $4.4 billion and taking delivery of nine VH-71s.

In the aftermath of the cancellation, the (nine) delivered helicopters were sold to Canada for $164 million, where they were used as a source of spare parts for its fleet of AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorant search-and-rescue helicopters".

I mean . . . W.T.F. . . . !!
 
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Tony Blair and his wife REALLY hated flying in VC10s. The seats faced backwards in the RAF models so take off was interesting to say the least and by the time Tony became PM the technology was nearly 40 years old. No business class in RAF planes either.

Even after an alleged £50,000 of upgraded seating was installed, Tony and his Missus still were not happy, not least because when travelling to international summit meetings, the French president turned up in a chartered Concorde, POTUS arrived in AF1 with AF2 and a flying 747 command centre in tow while poor Tony arrived in an Airborne Reliant Robin that belched smoke like a Glaswegian primary school pupil.

You do have to bear in mind that Mrs Blair demanded that the Prime Minister's suite in the Whitehall Nuclear War bunker should be redecorated so you can gauge the mentality of the Blair family.

They struggled on using a combination of chartered aircraft and the RAF's Royal Flight that consists of small business jets until ....

... thanks to a Freedom of Information investigation by a newspaper, it was revealed that Labour politicians were commandeering RAF jets to fly them home at weekends instead of getting the train. They were also making great use of some sort of ultra VIP lounge at Heathrow that cost hundreds of pounds for every visit.

Things came to a head when it was alleged that Tony had chartered a Boeing 777 to fly him and his family the 25 miles from Gatwick to Heathrow.

Tony responded to the furore by demanding a 777 for his exclusive use as well as a smaller, business jet for flights to Europe. The cost would have been over a billion quid. The press instantly dubbed the project "Blair Force One". Blair tried to say it was actually for the Royal Family but The Queen told him to feck off and pointed out that no Royal had travelled on the Royal Flight for years as it was always full of northern MPs flying to Blackpool for a dirty weekend with their secretaries.

In the end, Gordon Brown, then chancellor, refused to release the cash for Blair's vanity project.

The Voyager seems like a good compromise. Strictly speaking, it's a refuelling tanker (just like, strictly speaking, the Royal Yacht was a hospital ship). The seating is of the first class type but not extravagant. Might have been better if it incorporated a small office/cabin for the PM to work and sleep during long flights like the 757 "Air Force 2" planes the Americans use to transport government ministers but that will have to wait until some tabloid journalist upskirts the PM while she's asleep.
A good overview but still don't you think it would be better if there was a dedicated plane for the PM to use instead of all this hodge podge mess? Secure comms( which of course, are probably already on the Voyager), some place for the fella/lady to rest a bit instead of slumming it out over long trips - even if the seats are biz class? I mean we are talking about the leader of one of the world's most pre-eminent countries. I don't think anyone is going to think overtly badly by having an aircraft. And a billion thing, again, like I said before, is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Think of how many projects where a shit ton of money was wasted by cancelling or going over budget.
 
We had the same in Ireland. Haughey wanted and got a Gulfstream because his vanity demanded that a mere Hs125-700 wasn't grand enough. Also, he saw that several Irish multi-millionaires had G.IIIs or IVs and he didnt want the PM of a sovereign state to have a "lesser" aircraft. As a result, the Air Corps' small budget was deliberately pointed at keeping the later G.IV, IAC 251, in tip top shape, to the point where training aircraft were grounded to make sure that the G.IV got priority on fuel, spares, pilots, AOG support and so on. As long as the Air Corps had executive aircraft to transport Govt VIPs, they were abused by politicians, as a matter of course. One champion of the socialist Left, who had to go to Zurich for a political meeting, brought his son with him, a child of about 7, in the G.IV. Sonny boy got bored, said that he missed his mum, was flown back to Dublin in the G.IV and then on to the home county in the standby King Air, while the G.IV flew back to Zurich to wait for Dad. Dad, of course, was completely unapologetic but was rightly pilloried in the press. It wasn't until another Minister used a Casa maritime patrol aircraft to fly to another regional airport to cut the tape on the opening of a shop for a political donor, that the shit hit the fan and the Govt finally put the brake on wasteful Ministerial flights.
 
...don't you think it would be better if there was a dedicated plane for the PM to use instead of all this hodge podge mess? Secure comms( which of course, are probably already on the Voyager), some place for the fella/lady to rest a bit instead of slumming it out over long trips - even if the seats are biz class?...
We have a dedicated VIP role-fit which can be fitted to a Voyager in about 12 hours. This has 'business class' seating for ministers and a VVIP en-suite bedroom.

We also have Ro-Ro VIP compartments for the C-17 or C-130J, as the USAF does.

Frankly, a small fleet of VIP configured business jets to replace our BAe146s would be of more use to a dedicated long-haul VVIP jet in my view.

Regards,
MM
 

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