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Airbus A380 Testing today

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Airbus is getting ready to unleash the beast on the world... The new Airbus A380 with double-decker seating for up to 550 passengers is larger in all areas when compared to the Boeing 747-400.

From the latest report I read no American airline company has ordered an Airbus A380 yet, but FedEx and UPS have. One of the main issues airports are having with the larger plane is the location of the engines. It seems that the engine placement is much further out away from the fuselage than on the smaller Boeing 747. The main concern for American airports is with obstacles. With the jet thrust being further out, dirt and rocks untouched by other planes might be kicked up by this behemoth. Other airport obstacles include lighting and sign placement along the edges of the runways and taxiways directing the planes as well as the terminals capability to accommodate the larger plane. With all that said, the main issue becomes the runway width. Most airports support a max runway width of 150

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MEM has been in the process of upgrading taxiways to accomodate--should be finishing up Taxiway November very soon. I can only guess that the runways are already wide enough.

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About 18 months ago, I talked to the FedEx manager in charge of preparing for the A380 program. He told me that MEM was fully prepared to handle the A380 at that time. The most important preparation for A380 at MEM was the construction of the 11,000' center runway, which opened in 2000.

I can also tell you there is simply no way the FAA could implement a 200' runway width requirement. 150' is the standard width at all major airports, and it would be both time and cost-prohibitive to widen even the dozen or so runways needed to support A380. It would severely restrict where the aircraft could operate in the U.S. For example, Atlanta, JFK, Newark, Boston, Seattle, and Washington Dulles are some of the major airports that do not have 11,000 x 200' that would be necessary to handle A380 under such a rule.

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MEM is also in the process of building a 13-story hanger for the A380.

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I think the A380 could land on any runway capable of handling a 747. Seems as though it would be a possibility. Perhaps I am wrong, but it sure makes sense to me.

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I think the A380 could land on any runway capable of handling a 747. Seems as though it would be a possibility. Perhaps I am wrong, but it sure makes sense to me.

I don't think that's true. Otherwise no one would be mentioning whether runways are 380-ready. A comparison of weights from this site http://larsholst.info/blog/2005/01/20/airb...-vs-boeing-747/ shows that the 380 at empty weighs 277,000 kg vs 747's 181,755 kg. I don't know what MTOW means, but for a 380, it's 540,000 kg vs. 362,000 kg. My understanding is runways have to be thicker to sustain the landings over time to avoid ripping up the blacktop too quickly. A full 380 will require more distance to take off than a full 747, although some runways built for 747s are probably long enough for a 380. Also, the wingspan is wider 79.8 m vs. 747's 64.4 m. So some runways might not be hospitable because they might be too close to taxiways or other runways.

I'm sure you're right and many existing runways are able to accomodate both. But there's a reason for the concern over 380 compliance aside from the terminals. Runway compliance is clearly an issue, even for airports that are 747-compatible. On this site, it mentions that the 380 is the first commercial public transport aircraft to require Code F runways: http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:UMpzWE...us&ct=clnk&cd=3.

Also, this discusses the UK: http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/NTL200302.PDF

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Very interesting Clobber. Thanks for the links.

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Some pics of the whale jet:

large.jpg

On the freighter series that FedEx has bought, the whole nose of the plane pivots upward for loading:

medium.jpg

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Anybody know if Detroit and Minny is prepared for the A380? If not, Memphis might become a bigger hub.

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Anybody know if Detroit and Minny is prepared for the A380? If not, Memphis might become a bigger hub.

I don't believe that any American airline has placed an order for them. NW will be flying the 787 which is supposed to be the A380's main competitor for international travel, and the 787 seems to be winning out.

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I don't believe that any American airline has placed an order for them. NW will be flying the 787 which is supposed to be the A380's main competitor for international travel, and the 787 seems to be winning out.

Sounds like the 787 may be for international travel what the RJ's are for domestic? Makes transporting fewer passengers more affordable with the efficiencies in technology and fuel economy? Any speculation as to the effect of the upcoming minijets (i.e. Eclipse, the new Cessna)? I think they will make owning a jet more accessible to the class of wealth beneath the superwealthy. They may trigger entrepreneurs who want to have essentially air taxis with point-to-point travel (i.e. you might be able to go from municipal airport to municipal airport). Would that impact LCC's any you think? I'm sure not in the near term future, but I'm thinking the right business strategy could make it work and at least be competitive.

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Anybody know if Detroit and Minny is prepared for the A380? If not, Memphis might become a bigger hub.

Northwest isn't buying the A380...fedex is. In that case, Memphis already is a bigger FedEx hub than MSP and DTW.

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Some pics of the whale jet:

large.jpg

On the freighter series that FedEx has bought, the whole nose of the plane pivots upward for loading:

medium.jpg

She is a thing of beauty.. :wub:

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FWIW, FedEx is going to start flying larger jets into/out of BNA starting soon. They just recently built a huge warehouse over on the cargo ramp for increased capacity here. This requires them to, well it actually allows them to, bring in larger aircraft for their services out of BNA. The schedule is not known, but I have heard that 727's DC-10's and other jets are a big possibility here. It would be nice to see them as they, out of all the cargo carriers based in the US, have the best livery on their planes.

All the best and here's to the A380!!!!!

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