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Republic of the Philippines

PHILIPPINE STATE COLLEGE OF AERONAUTICS


Piccio Garden, Villamor, Pasay City, Philippines
Institute of Engineering and Technology

THE DECLINE OF SUPER JUMBO JETS AND THE RISE OF TWIN ENGINES:
A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS ON THE IMPACT OF AIRBUS A380 AND A350 IN THE
AVIATION INDUSTRY

An Academic Paper Presented to the


Faculty Research and Development,
Philippine State College of Aeronautics,
Piccio Garden, Villamor, Pasay City Philippines

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements


for the Subject Contemporary World
(GEC 123)

Gonzales, Celji Kyle I.


Padrejuan, Francis Nicolai
Selibio, James V.
Bachelor of Science in Air Transportation 1-2

Presented to:
Mr. John Kennedy S. Villanueva
Instructor

March 18,2019

1
OUTLINE
1. The Fight in Wide-Body Aircraft Division

1.1. Quad-Engine vs Twin-Engine Aircraft


1.1.1. Comparing Different Aircraft
1.1.1.1. Establishing ground for comparisons by probing in their similarities.
1.1.1.2. A350 is the reason of the decline of sales of A380.
1.1.1.3. Airbus’s decision to terminate the production of A380.

1.2. Timeline of Aircraft Production


1.2.1. Age of Super Jumbo Jets
1.2.1.1. Importance of A380 in its time.
1.2.1.2. Impact A380 cause during its reign.
1.2.2. Age of Twin-Engine Aircraft
1.2.2.1. Importance of A350 in its time.
1.2.2.2. Impact A350 cause during its reign

2. Analysis of Effects of A350 and A380 on Different Aviation Sectors


2.1. Aircraft Production
2.1.1. Cost of Production
2.1.1.1. Materials used in manufacturing an aircraft defines its cost.
2.1.1.2. Factors like durability and fuel efficiency must be considered.
2.1.2. Airbus Sales
2.1.2.1. Total aircraft created each year speaks of the ability of Airbus to
meet the demands.
2.1.2.2. Sales made for repairs and renovations also makes a great impact in
the industry.
2.1.3. Recompensating Losses
2.1.3.1. Sudden termination of orders affects the expected demand on annual
aircraft production.
2.1.3.2. Solutions made affects the aircraft producer’s stability.

2.2. Freight Industry


2.2.1. Capacity to Transport Goods
2.2.1.1. Aircraft design is considered in using an aircraft in freight industry.
2.2.2. Cost to Transport Goods
2.2.2.1. Fuel consumption plays a great factor in identifying the cost to
transport goods.
2.2.2.2. Airline companies must calculate the cost to convert a passenger
plane to a freight plane.

2
1. The Fight in Wide-Body Aircraft Division

1.1. Quad-Engine vs Twin-Engine Aircraft

1.1.1. Comparing Different Aircraft

Made by leading European aircraft manufacturer Airbus, both A350

and A380 belongs to wide-body aircraft category. Also known as twin-aisle

aircraft, this category refers to jet liners with fuselage large enough to hold

two passenger aisles with seven or more seats in alignment. A350 has a

diameter of 5.97m (19.06ft) that can accommodate 253 passengers while

A380 has a diameter of 6.50m (21.40ft) that holds 555 passengers in total

both in a three-class configuration. Despite lower seating capacity, A350 is

a two-engine aircraft, making it more economical, cheaper to operate and

fuel efficient than four-engine A380. Due to its large capacity, airliners

found it difficult to fill A380 during non-peak seasons like winter, not being

able to recoup the cost of running four engines. Nowadays, airline

companies would rather fly six times a day with twin engine aircraft than

three times a day with a quad-engine type. This caused a decline in

patronizing super-jumbo jets, leading to a cut in A380. Furthermore,

Airbus already decided to cease production on A380 after the delivery of

14 A380s to Emirates and three A380s to All Nippon Airways by 2021.

Moreover, Airbus is putting all its hope to A350 as more airlines rely to

twin-engine aircraft for long haul flights.

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1.2. Timeline of Aircraft Production

1.2.1. Age of Super Jumbo Jets

As we all know, the Airbus 380 (A380) is the world’s biggest traveler

carrier, a wide-body aircraft made by Airbus. The possibility of building an

aircraft with passenger limit more than 500 began in the mid 90’s and the

venture was reported to challenge and directly compete with the

predominance of the Boeing 747 (B747) in the whole deal showcase. So,

how old is the A380? Airbus propelled the $10.7 billion A380 program on

December 19, 2000. The principal model was uncovered in Toulouse on

January 18, 2005, with its first trip on April 7, 2005. So basically, the A380

had just celebrated its 14th birthday on January 18, 2019 since the first

prototype was showcased on January 18, 2005. The full-length twofold

deck aircraft has a run of the mill seating of limit of 525; however, it is

endured for up to 853 travelers. In short words, it can pack in a greater

number of travelers and payload than some other business carrier, yet its

originators guarantee that it will build effectiveness, utilize less fuel and

produce less clamor. In any case, Airbus isn’t contracting on that choice,

rather planning a three-class arrangement for 555 travelers. That is as yet

a checked increment over the 416 travelers that can fit into a Boeing 747.

In addition, it is fueled by four Engine Alliance GP7200 or Rolls-Royce

Trent 900 turbofans giving a scope of 8,000 nautical miles (14,800

kilometers) (Grabianowski, 2008).

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Things were very different in 2005 when the Airbus entered

administration to extraordinary exhibit. The gigantic aircraft, named the

superjumbo, was intended to take everything that made the Boeing 747 a

symbol and stretch it to the furthest reaches of modern engineering. The

superjumbo hasn’t been the distinct advantage Airbus had trusted to wind

up when the enormous jet was considered two decades prior. This is

particularly the situation of the money related front. For a great part of the

plane’s life, Airbus has attempted to discover carriers willing to put the

A380 into administration. With a sticker of price of $445.6 million, the

A380 is a standout amongst the costly and extravagant planes ever made.

With space of up to 800 travelers, the twofold decker’s sheer size indicates

that it is a mark whenever a superjumbo arrives. In any case, in a cost-

cognizant market and with fluctuating fuel costs, the very traits that made

the plane emerge might also be the reason to cause its problems. Some

state that the A380 came two decades too late, while others state that with

expanding airplane terminal clog, the plane is comparatively radical. Some

industry spectators, for example, the Teal Group expert Richard Aboulafia,

have ventured to such an extreme as to consider it the greatest error ever

of Airbus. As indicated by Aboulafia, the A380 is a shoddy aircraft intended

for a market that doesn’t generally exist. Thus, the $25 billion that Airbus

spent on the A380 program could have been exceptional utilized

somewhere else (Zhang, 2019).

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1.2.2. Age of Twin-Engine Aircraft

The A350 XWB is a group of long-extend, twin motor wide-body jet

airliners created by European aviation maker Airbus. The A350 is the

primary Airbus aircraft with both fuselage and wing structures made

essentially of carbon fiber strengthened polymer. Its variations situate 280

to 366 travelers in normal three-class seating formats. The A350 is situated

to succeed the A340 and to rival the Boeing 777 and 787. The model A350

first flew on June 14, 2013 from Toulouse, France. It is 8 years younger

than the A380 which means that the A350 will debut its 6th year on June

14, 2019. Since its business administration section in 2015, A350 XWB

administrators and travelers around the globe have encountered the top-

notch productivity and solace of the world's most present-day wide body

family and long-range leader. It's nothing unexpected that this splendidly

structured flying machine is a standout amongst the most flexible in the

sky. The A350 XWB really offers genuine long-run ability of up to 8,100

nautical miles, yet can likewise be effectively designed to work both

provincial and ultra-whole deal courses up to 9,700 nautical miles because

of the latest-generation Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines that are quieter

and more efficient, exhibiting unrivaled operational adaptability. The A350

XWB Family lower deck payload compartments are intended to transport

a vast assortment of tummy load (stuff, cargo, sport gear, surreys, pet

hotels, and so forth.) boosting carrier incomes (Airbus, 2019).

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As provincial air terminals keep on confronting difficulties

identified with their development and achievement, what impact have new

flying machine had on their working model? There is an enormous

expanding interest for territorial airplane terminals from travelers. The

comfort of having an air terminal closer to home, just as the appealing

valuing of low spending carriers and the development of courses, have

enabled territorial air terminals to expand their piece of the pie around the

world. However, what's next for territorial airplane terminals, and how has

the new flying machine being presented influenced them? Considering that

the A350 XWB is a long range, wide-bodied and twin-engined plane and

mostly built broadly from carbon fiber fortified polymer especially with its

passenger limit, adaptability and long range, sparing fuel costs, they are

very financially savvy to the airlines. They are also negotiating to local

airplane terminals, as they can fly the distance of the A380 and B747

aircraft however with lesser passenger numbers. This is critical for

provincial airplane terminals, as they would now be able to sell more

tickets for direct courses with aircrafts that can fly these separations

proficiently and monetarily. They shouldn't have a center point to support

these courses, successfully changing the whole structure of the center and

talked exchange model of air travel. Surely, the new plane had been

nicknamed 'center buster' and are decreasing the size of traveler request

expected to make whole deal courses possible, conceivably

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notwithstanding promising carriers to bypass center air terminals to serve

direct associations (AIQ Consultant, 2018).

2. Analysis of Effects of A350 and A380 on Different Aviation Sectors

2.1. Aircraft Production

2.1.1. Cost of Production

Deriving from the A330’s design, the A350 was initially planned to have

a 250 to 300 seat. Under this, the twin-engine wide-body aircraft would

also have a modified wings and new engines while taking the A330’s

fuselage cross-section. This aforementioned fuselage was to be built

initially of aluminum lithium instead of the carbon-fiber-reinforced

polymer which is built-in the Boeing 787 (Roberts, 2007). In addition, its

redesigned model, named A350-XWB (extra wide body) has a wider

fuselage cross-section, and has a constant width from door 1 to door 4,

unlike previous Airbus aircraft, to provide maximum usable volume

allowing the arrangement of seats from an eight abreast low-density

premium economy layout to a ten-abreast high-density seating

configuration for the largest seating capacity of 440-47 depending on the

variant. Furthermore, the A350’s nose section has a composition acquired

from the A380 with a front-mounted nose gear bay that improves

aerodynamics and enables overhead crew rest areas to be installed further

forward and eliminate any encroachment in the passenger cabin, and a six

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–panel flight deck wide screen which has been revised to improve vision

by reducing the width of the center post. Besides, Airbus created a new

philosophy about the attachment of the undercarriage attached to the rear

wing spar forward and to aw gear beam aft, which is also attached to the

wing and the fuselage. By this, it allows to reduce the loads further into the

wing. On its wing, a new trailing –edge high-lift device has been adopted

with an advance dropped-hinge flap similar from the winglets of the A380

producing features for continuously optimizing the wing loading o reduce

fuel burn. In connection to the composition of materials, the new A350

XWB body frame are totally made out of 19% aluminum and aluminum-

lithium alloy; usually used to its ribs, floor beams and gear bays; 14%

titanium for its landing gears, pylons, and attachments; 6% steel; and 8%

miscellaneous. Furthermore, Airbus A350-900 costs US$317.4 million

while A350-1000 costs US$366.5 million (Marsh, 2002).

However, while most of the fuselage of other Airbus model is made up

of aluminum alloys, carbon fiber reinforced plastic, glass-fiber reinforced

plastic, and quartz-fiber reinforced plastic are used extensively in its own

wings, fuselage sections, tail surfaces, and doors. Moreover, the A380 is

also the first commercial airliner having a centralized wing box that is built

by carbon-fiber reinforced plastic. It is also the Airbus that is first to have

a smoothly contoured wing section. This means it helps reduce

aerodynamic drag; Thermoplastics are applied in the leading edges of the

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slats which allows the wing to operate at a higher angle of attack when

deployed. In the upper fuselage, the hybrid fiber metal laminate material

called as GLARE (glass laminate aluminum - reinforced epoxy) is applied,

same on the stabilizers’ leading edges. Plus, this aluminum glass laminate

is lighter and has a better deterioration and impingement resistance than

the older conventional alloys usually used in aviation. Moreover, A380

costs US$445.6 million (Airbus, 2018).

2.1.2. Airbus Sales

In 2006, the A350 started its order production all over the world. In its

first year, 2 planes were ordered. In 2007, the stacks were expanded to 292

orders, and lessen for just 163 in 2008.; 51, 78, and 27 planes were formed

in the next consecutive years, but risen up in 2013 to 230 orders. 41, 36,

40, and 42 from 2014 up to the current year. To sum it all, they are 852

ordered-plane. However, its delivery was initially started during 2014 up

until now. In the first year of delivery, 1 plane was delivered; its uptrend

hits in 14, 49, 78, planes and reached its climax to 93 deliveries in 2018.

Currently, 14 aircrafts were cancelled. Totally, they are 249 deliveries all

over the world (Airbus, 2019).

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Table 1. A350 orders and deliveries from 2006 to 2019
Year Orders Deliveries

2006 2 -

2007 292 -

2008 163 -

2009 51 -

2010 78 -

2011 -31 -

2012 27 -

2013 230 -

2014 -32 1

2015 -3 14

2016 41 49

2017 36 78

2018 40 93

2019 -42 14

TOTAL 852 249

Source: Airbus

Moreover, the two types of A380 started its firm net orders in 2001.

First, is the A380-800, and A380F. The A380-800 had 78 in its first year;

None in 2002; Dropped from 34 to the same number of order (10) in 2004

and 2005. 33 planes were called in 2007; 19, 9, and 42 in the next

consecutive year, and went low to 13 in the year 2014. In 2015, there were

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only 2 orders made. In the year 2017, 2 plane orders were cancelled; but 4

planes were made for 2018, and 31 in the current year; having the total of

290 plane orders from 2001 up to 2019. Furthermore, its deliveries went

in 2007 by having only 1; 12, 10, and 18, from 2008 to 2010. Reached its

highest delivery transaction from 26 to 30 in the next two years; 25, and

30, from 2013 and 2014; Dropped a few for about 27 to 28 planes in 2015

in 2015 and 2016. Fell on the lowest in 2017 and 2018 by only 15, and 12,

up to zero in the current year. On the other hand, A380F also started its

reservation in 2001 by having 7 orders, and 10 from the aforementioned

year to 2002. The Airbus company didn't make it in 2 years and during

2005, 10 orders were filed. But, 17 and 10 orders were cancelled from

2006 to 2007. In conclusion, the A380F didn't have the chance to be

released in any airline industry (Airbus, 2019)

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Table 2. A380 orders and deliveries from 2001 to 2019
Year Orders Deliveries
A380-800 A380F A380-800
2001 78 7 -
2002 - 10 -
2003 34 - -
2004 10 - -
2005 10 10 -
2006 24 -17 -
2007 33 -10 1
2008 9 - 12
2009 4 - 10
2010 32 - 18
2011 19 - 26
2012 9 - 30
2013 42 - 25
2014 13 - 30
2015 2 - 27
2016 - - 28
2017 -2 - 15
2018 4 - 12
2019 -31 - -
TOTAL 290 0 234
Source: Airbus

2.1.3. Recompensating Losses

The A380 has become an icon in aviation. The largest passenger aircraft

ever made, it was intended to relieve congestion at large airports around

the globe. However, the end of the A380 could be good for Airbus. In other

news, Airbus is still trying to sell the aircraft and is still trying to make the

A380 more appealing with improvements and configurations like the

A380plus. In many ways, Airbus can use those resources and dedicate

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them towards marketing the slow-selling A330 neo, continue to draw

airlines towards the A320 neo and A350. To conclude, Airbus has recently

lost ground to Boeing in the world's sales. But there is definitely room for

improvement for Airbus. However, by streamlining their offering of

products, Airbus can be more effective to offer more resources to their

aircraft lines to attract more customers.

2.2. Freight Industry

2.2.1. Capacity to Transport Goods

Originally, Airbus offered A380F as a variant for freight industry. But

due to delays in production and cancellation of orders, Airbus terminated

the production of A380F in 2015, making no freighter aircraft at all (Jeff,

2018). A careful scrutinization would reveal that A380F, if produced,

would not be profitable at all. Air freight is measured in cube and weight.

A plane is known to ‘cube out’ when it is totally filled but it doesn’t

approach to its weight capacity. However, according to Dan Wang, A380F

would exceed its weight capacity as it ‘cube out,’ limiting it to be filled to

its full capacity. The design of A380F would hit its maximum payload

575,000kg before its maximum cubic space of 1134 cubic meter, making it

non-profitable in addition to its high operating costs (Aerospace Tech,

2017).

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On the other hand, A350F is still on process and will wait till 2020 until

all A350 variants have been established (Blogjfa, 2018). Airbus said that

A350-900F will have a maximum payload of 91.7 tons and maximum

volume of 440 cubic meters (Coppinger, 2018). According to Nick Rhodes,

the aviation industry will be of need for more twin-engine freighters as

there is a market niche for such an aircraft. Moreover, Airbus is expecting

a sale in this aircraft and it would surely impact the aviation market as it

replaces quad-engine cargo planes like Boeing 747F.

2.2.2. Cost to Transport Goods

Airbus A380 burns approximately 7 gallons of unleaded kerosene per

nautical mile. More or less, that is roughly $17,467 of fuel, approximately

$40.19 to $44.82 per mile (Philg, 2007). This are the estimations of the

cost to transport goods in A380 with its maximum capacity but not

covering its maximum volume. Airbus A350 on the other hand, burns 3.5

gallons of unleaded kerosene per nautical mile (Simple Flying, 2019). That

is approximately $20.97 per mile (Aspire Aviation, 2015). Moreover, A350

has lower operating costs in transporting products than A380. Many

freighter companies await A350F as it is more fuel efficient and as it would

lead the new trend in freight industry.

Converting A380 into a A380F (freighter aircraft) would costs

enormous amounts of money. Unlike Boeing 747 that can be converted to

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B747F, freighter companies don’t expect A380 to be converted to A380F

although it is possible, it would still be unpractical and non-profitable.

Strengthening the floor, adding new cargo doors and installing fire

suppression units will add weight to the aircraft, minimizing its total

weight capacity in addition of it not ‘cubing out’ at all (Billreid, 2014).

Meanwhile, International Bureau of Aviation still doesn’t price converting

A350 into freighter. Furthermore, IBA is certain that A350 is one of the new

production freighters there would be in the future (IBA, 2019).

3. The Verdict: The Plane That Changed the Aviation Industry

It is undeniable that A350 made a larger impact on the aviation industry.

Although A380 had been a status symbol to many airline companies, bringing with

it the ‘A380 effect’ wherein passengers rush to airports to try the new A380 during

its premiere age, A380 brought more loss than gain in the aviation industry.

Limiting the study with aircraft sales and its capacity to be converted to a freight

aircraft, A380 lost in production order with 290 fleet of aircraft in 19 years

compared to 852 manufactured A350s within 14 years. A350’s order is three

times more than of A380’s. In regards to sales, A380 made $104B while A350

made $79,698.5B in gross sales. A350 is expected to earn additional $191B in its

pending orders. Also, A380 failed to be profitable in freight industry due to its,

cube and weight imbalance while A350 was expected to be a freighter plane in

years to come. Many airline companies patronize A350 for its better fuel efficiency

16
and modern technological advancement. A350 is expected to boost the aviation

industry as it opens its doors to point-to-point flight opportunities. Overall, twin

engine aircrafts will continue to reign this age and the age to come until

manufacturers would usher another age of aircraft innovation.

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