In June 2017, Airbus announced the creation of a new modification of the world’s largest passenger aircraft, the A380. “The new modification has improved performance while reducing overall construction costs,” the company said in a press release. The updated aircraft will cost 13 percent cheaper (about $ 370 million). The cabin will accommodate 933 passengers, which is 80 more than in the previous model. The modified design of the wings will improve aerodynamics, as well as reduce fuel consumption by 4 percent. And the construction of the A380plus will cost 13% cheaper ($ 370 million instead of 428 million). The new model will be called the Airbus A380 plus, the company informs.
The main idea of the modification: to make cosmetic changes to improve operational characteristics and reduce the cost of transporting one passenger. And to do this with minimal cost, without subjecting the design of the airframe and the main components to noticeable processing.
The A380 Plus will receive an even more advanced wing. The “classic” A380 still has a very advanced aerodynamic design: wing profile and high confident lifting characteristics.
But the large absolute dimensions – a span of almost 80 meters – which are difficult to increase due to restrictions at airports, are insufficient for the huge mass and dimensions of the aircraft. The wing elongation (length to width ratio) is only 7.53 (for the A350 – 9.5), and the usual Airbus wingtips made it possible to bring the effective elongation to at least 7.8.
A low coefficient means that the aircraft flies with high induced resistance. Induced resistance with an average cruising mass of 20% higher than the parasitic – and the norm would be their approximate equality, as in the same A350-1000.
Therefore, to maintain efficiency at the proper level, the A380 has a wide and two-level fuselage: the surface area of resistance in terms of a chair in Superjumbo is 20% lower than in the A350-1000.
The split tips on the A380 Plus improve the effective aspect ratio to 8.4 and change the pressure distribution towards the leading edge – and to restore optimal performance (ideally, the distribution should be close to elliptical), the wing surface is re-adjusted.
The Plus package also announces the use of advanced Rolls-Royce Trent 972-84 / 972B-84 engines or the latest additions from the Engine Alliance with an increase of 7% in traction. There is no official data on their fuel consumption yet.
In total, aerodynamic modernization allows you to add 3 tons to the maximum take-off weight, which can mean an additional 80 passengers or 555 kilometers of flight range and means an increase in fuel efficiency by 4%.
By optimizing the space, the manufacturer suggests installing an additional 78 seats in a standard four-class layout.
For this, the following solutions will be applied:
- installed new compact front and rear deck decks,
- used a closer arrangement of seats in cross-section – 11 rows instead of 10 in economy class and 9 instead of 8 in premium economy class,
- the upper deck will begin to be built without a sidewall,
- the staff will receive a newly arranged and closer restroom, now common for pilots and cabin crew,
- a full third door of the upper deck can be converted (at the request of the customer) into an emergency exit, near which passenger seats can be put.
The aircraft will receive a 4th generation on-board multimedia entertainment system, which promises to be lighter and consume less energy.
The reliability of the fuel system will be increased. It is very complicated on the A380 and consists of 13 tanks and 41 pumps. In-flight, fuel is pumped from the wing to the horizontal tail stabilizers and back to reduce drag. Now proven simpler and more reliable A350 pumps will take the place previously used in the “classic” Superjumbo.
The changes will affect the waste management system. For it, two large tanks will be installed instead of four relatively small ones that are not connected: during operation, it turned out that often one of the tanks is filled – even though the others can be almost empty.
Finally, the software in the automated flight management system (Flight Management System, FMS) has been updated: now it allows you to monitor the fuel efficiency of the aircraft and adjust its parameters to the specifics of operating a particular board.
Simplification of procedures and the installation of more reliable equipment made it possible to use the extended A-check and B-check intervals for the A380 Plus, the shortened D-check intervals – the “heavy” maintenance that takes place at the A380 every 6 years. Airbus has a new version plus 6 active days per year by reducing downtime on regular maintenance.
- Modification: A380plus
- Wingspan, m: 79.80
- Aircraft Length, m: 73.00
- The height of the aircraft, m: 24.10
- Wing Area, m2: 845.00
- Weight kg: empty loaded aircraft 276800; maximum take-off 578,000
- Fuel, l: 325000
- Engine type: 4 turbofan engine RollsRoyce Trent 970 / B (Engine Alliance GP7270)
- Rod, kN: 4 x 311
- Maximum speed, km / h: 1020
- Cruising speed, km / h: 903-945
- Practical range, km: 15756
- Practical ceiling, m: 13115
- Crew: 2
- Payload: 933 passengers in a single-class configuration.