Posts Tagged ‘a380’

The End of an Era: 2014 is the Last Time Any Airline Will Boast of Its Boeing 747 Jumbo Jets – Air China’s 747-8

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

I was surprised to see this ad:

Air_China copy

Here’s how things looked back in 1968:

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And here’s how things looked back in 2008 for Boeing’s jumbo jet competition, the Airbus A380.

Where’s our jumbo jet scorecard?

Boeing 747 1st Generation = SUCCESS! Unquestionably, but now obsolete

Boeing 747 2nd Generation = SUCCESS! Unquestionably, but pretty much obsolete

Airbus A380 1st Generation = FAILURE! Pretty much. A big money pit for Airbus

Boeing 747 3rd Generation = FAILURE! Approaching obsolescence faster than expected 

See a pattern here?

Whoa: Asiana Airlines Flights To and From SFO “Likely” to be Suspended for as much as Four Months – Punishment for Flight 214

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

From San Francisco-based military writer Kyle Mizokami comes word of a plan to temporarily suspend Asiana Airlines flights between Incheon International Airport (ICN) and SFO:

Asiana Faces Suspension of San Francisco Flights

“Under the plan, the ministry will ask Korean Air to use larger aircraft on the Incheon-San Francisco route to increase the number of seats, bring in chartered planes, or channel passengers on transit routes. A senior ministry official recently visited concerned lawmakers at the National Assembly to brief them on the plan.”

Does this seem real to you? It seems real to me. Or perhaps elements of the Republic of Korea are trying to scare Asiana straight after the Flight 214 disaster?

Korean Air currently uses Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft on this route – might it be tough for it to expand capacity just for a few months? IDK. I can’t think of too many options for KA to use planes larger than these, excepting for one or two of their ten newish double-decker superjumbo Airbus A380′s, but it’s not like those aircraft are just sitting around waiting to be used this way.

This suspension idea doesn’t make sense to me – I suppose we’ll find out tonight…

[UPDATE: Well, a 45 suspension just got handed down, but Asiana wants to appeal the decision.]

It’s Finally Happening: Emirates Airlines Launches Daily Airbus A380 Superjumbo Service Between SFO and Dubai December 1st

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Well I just saw a banner ad, so consider that confirmation that, as of December 1st, 2014*, Emirates is finally offering daily flights to and from Dubai out of SFO on its shower-stall equipped** Airbus A380 double-decker superjumbos.

So, chalk that up as a victory for SFO.

Here’s your Emirates A380, equipped with a horseshoe bar in the back, upstairs, for Business and First Class passengers only:

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It was back in 2008 that Emirates brought a then-new A380 to town, to show it off. Get all the deets on that visit right here.

But, IRL, they ended up using the smaller Boeing 777-300ER twinjet instead. When asked, the Emirates people said they were “considering” the A380 for daily flights to and from SFO. Well, six years later, the day has come.

Oh, here’s my take on SFO + A380 readiness right here. IMO, the A380 was, is, and will continue to be Just Another Airplane. Sorry.

Oh well.

*The writer is saying that the new, longer-range A380′s are lighter?  Uh, I think he should have said heavier instead. More fuel = more range, right? That’s the case here. It’s still a very heavy aircraft, one that’s still heavier than designed…

**What happens to your used shower water after your five-minute-max spritz is over? Emirates wanted to dump it out in-flight but I don’t think they got permission to do that. So, there’s a holding tank that gets emptied out after landing. So, Emirates needs to burn more fuel to carry a useless load of soapy water waste water. Not too “green,” huh? Oh well.

A380 Superjumbo Update: Where’s Your Messiah Now, SFO? Things Just Aren’t Working Out with the Big Airbus

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Even back six years ago, even back in aught-eight, this kind of press release from SFO seemed more optimistic than average.

Anyway, we spent a lot of money getting ready for the Airbus A380 double-decker and we do get a handful of flights* every week, but things just haven’t worked out.

Oh look, it’s a Lufthansa A380 filled with German tourists going home after their summer vacations in the bay area, high above Daly City: 

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I’ll tell you, the reason why we still use a lot of four-engined Boeing 747-400 jumbos at SFO is because we already have them. They’re there, hundreds of them. But they guzzle a lot of fuel, so, not too long ago, the A380 was considered to be The Future. But it’s a guzzler too. So The Future now belongs to large twin-engine aircraft like the Boeing 777 models (present and future) and the slightly smaller twin-engined Airbus A350 line.

So all that hype coming out of SFGov about the A380 being “green,” well that was a lot of hogwash. The A380 was/is just another jetliner and SFO took steps to accommodate its massive size and that’s fine, but it wasn’t/isn’t/will never be a game changer the way the people at SFO were hoping for (or lying about – I still can’t tell why they were so excited as late as 2008, when the promise of the A380 was already being questioned).

Anyway, here’s the update:

A380 Continues To Pose Challenges For Heathrow – The A380 was tapped to help capacity-strapped airports, but could it end up hurting them?

Arguably, the A380 was specifically designed for Heathrow, which has a runway shortage and a NIMBY neighbour problem. So great, here’s a giant plane that’s really quiet – isn’t that great? Well, read the link above to see how things are working out when the rubber meets the tarmac.

SFO also has a runway shortage and a NIMBY neighbor problem, but our airport is a lot smaller and, as stated, those A380′s aren’t really working out and nobody’s really buying them anymore, so we’re not going to have to deal with Heathrow’s problems. No no, we’ll just muddle through.

But the skeptics have already been proven correct, after just six years.

One wonders what SFO’s next overhyped fad will be…

*More so in the summer, when the French and the Germans really pine to come here, so they can stay “Near Union Square” in a fleabag hotel only to get bitten by bedbugs, only to be told that said fleabag hotel doesn’t have bedbugs so GTH. On behalf of San Francisco, I wish to say, “Sorry, French and German people.”

Checking In on a Typical Mayor Gavin Newsom Press Conference a Half-Decade Later: Who Lost Qantas?

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Well, nobody really “lost” QANTAS, but SFO used to have the big Australian carrier like for a half-century and now it doesn’t so that’s what SFGov was upset about back in the day. Let’s review.

Here’s 2009, from Qantas:

“In 1954, San Francisco became Qantas’ first US mainland destination and we have a long association with the city. We are delighted to showcase our new aircraft to the people of San Francisco.”

And here’s 2009, from Newsom:

“San Francisco International Airport was designed to accommodate the new A380 aircraft, and we are extremely pleased today to welcome Qantas Airways in the first commercial A380 flight to SFO,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. “This state-of-the-art, environmentally sensitive new aircraft provides yet another bridge of friendship between San Francisco and Australia, and we look forward to continuing our long and successful partnership with Qantas.”

Now IRL, the Airbus A380 was and is just another airplane in the sky. And IRL, the state of the art of large commercial aircraft would be to use two large engines instead of the A380′s four smaller engines. And calling it “environmentally sensitive” was and is a bit of a stretch and, in fact, these days it’s considered a guzzler and so much so that Airbus is considering certifying completely different engines.

Anyway, what happened soon after this press conference in 2009 is that Qantas shut down operations at SFO and went to Texas. So instead of upgrading airplanes coming into town, they just upped and quit on us, they couldn’t wait to get out of here.

Why? Because it made sense for them to do so and also the airport people at Dallas Fort Worth came up with millions of dollars to throw at Qantas.

Who knows, Qantas might come back to SFO at some point (but it doesn’t really matter all that much).

Pretty much everything he said at his press conferences turned out to be wrong – this is just an example.

What It’s Like to Fly an Airbus A380 Super Jumbo Jet into SFO – Excellent Video – Multiple Angles

Friday, December 27th, 2013

See?

How Jumbo is Too Jumbo? Airbus A380, SFO’s New Loadstar Aircraft, Bumps into Stuff Once Again

Monday, June 20th, 2011

I’ll tell you, I have no objection in particular about Airbus A380 superjumbo jets flying into and out of SFO, but over the past few years the arrival of this a/c got oversold, way oversold, by SFO, the old mayor’s office and the new mayor’s office.

They went on and on about how farsighted SFO was to become “A380-ready,” but after these kinds of taxiway incidents worldwide, I gotta ask:

Where’s your Messiah now, SFO?

Oh, here it is, at the Paris Air Show, bumping into buildings ‘n stuff. Sacre Bleu – Une Autre Allision!

Click to expand – via Niek van der Zande

(Don’t call it a wing fence (or winglet or sharklet) the way some journalists do, oh no, call it a wingtip fence. Thusly: “The Superjumbo jet just lost another wingtip fence.)

The deets from Paris:

“While the crew had been informed that the taxiway was clear for the A380, said Airbus, and the aircraft was on the centreline, it hit a building belonging to Aeroports de Paris.”

Oh well.

Hey SFO, why don’t you actually do something by getting your runways farther apart so you’ll be future-ready instead of just A380-ready?

Just asking, SFO Bro.

“Giant A380 Jetliner Proves SFO Planners Were Right?” Uh, Not Really, SFGate

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Well, here’s the latest from Business Report – The Chronicle with Bloomberg:

Giant A380 jetliner proves SFO planners were right

Uh, so I’m not saying that the powers that be shouldn’t have gotten ready for the long-delayed Airbus A380 jumbo jet, but this wasn’t all that much of a gutsy call, right? It’s like, should we prepare to accommodate the jets that are being planned for five-ten years from now?

O.K., so why not prepare? Sure. But I don’t know how much credit should go to the people of SFO for doing what they’re paid to do.

See? Some have three jetway thingees, some have two:

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In other news, the new A380 uses more fuel than any other airliner you could think of. So this is incorrect:

It’s a much less fuel-consuming aircraft. It’s a much more efficient aircraft; it costs 30 percent less to operate than other wide bodies.”

And considering all the hype, the hype like this:

The A380′s modernity, comfort and stylishness should help drive business between the Bay Area and overseas markets, said R. Sean Randolph, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. Randolph said he thinks this is especially true of the burgeoning business relationship with India, which generates high transpacific traffic.”

…the A380 appears to be kind of a big nothingburger. You want to fly from India, you can do it on a Boeing 777 or an old 747 or, soon enough, the long-delayed new 747-8i. And in fact, if anything, the trend of rising fuel prices is making some airlines rethink the desirability of non-stop hops from faraway lands. And “stylishness?” You know, I’d just love to make business with you there, Reddy, but that triple-seven they want me to fly over on, well, it just doesn’t do it for me, it’s not stylish at all, you know? I’ll wait until Airbus makes a fat piggy plane with wings that are too big (because they were designed for future stretched versions like the A380-900, or, Gaia help us, the mythical A380-1000. But, seeing as how the freighter version of the miraculous, wonderful, oh-my-God-this-changes-everything A380 got cancelled, it might be a good long time before the world sees a stretched A380…)

And speaking of the new 747, Lufthansa is also buying those as well, so maybe you’ll be on a Boeing the next time you fly to Frankfurt. IRL, Lufthansa calculates about a 3% delta in fuel economy per passenger betwixt the newish A380 and the impending Boeing 747-8i.

Anyway, the giant A380 jetliner does not necessarily prove SFO planners right, just saying.

Now, about those substandard runways…

SFO’s New Terminal Two is Just an Another Airport Terminal, SFO’s New Air France A380 Jet is Just Another Jet

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Is new Terminal 2 at SFO really set to “dazzle?

Sadly no. It’s just another airport terminal right? Let’s keep things in sperpective.

The other dazzling piece of news coming up from Millbrae is Air France saying it will fly in an A380 superjumbo daily from gay Paris during Tourist Season 2011.

The best guess is that the A380 burns about 3% per passenger less than the slightly smaller competition from Boeing. Is that something to get excited about? Not really.

Oh, here we go, here’s an Air France Airbus A380 making friends in New Yawk just yesterday. What a bully! (The YouTube view count  just went from 303 views five minutes ago up to 17,000, so let’s call that going viral.)

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Them A380′s are big, non?

Let’s hope that SFO can manage these big rigs better than JFK!

Anyway, to review, SFO’s New Terminal Two is Just an Another Airport Terminal, SFO’s New Air France A380 Jet is Just Another Jet.

No alarms, no surprises…

“Air France Flight 7 F-HPJD bound for Paris, was taxiing on a runway when its left wingtip struck the tail of Comair Flight 6293, which had just landed from Boston and was taxiing to its gate at Kennedy, one of the nation’s busiest airports…”

Boeing Celebrates the First Flight of the New 747-8 Intercontinental Jumbo Jet – Does It Get Better MPG Than the Airbus A380?

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Here it is, the latest VLA (Very Large Aircraft) to hit the skies. Get all the deets right here and be sure to check out the Flight Tracker – they flew over Port Angeles (and not too far from Forks, WA and La Push Beach (for you Twilight fans)).

The other VLA up there there is the Airbus A380 Superjumbo, which burns more fuel but has more seats. The test will be when you fill up both with maximum passengers and then fly a certain distance and then figure the fuel burn per passenger.

The A380 is a new plane but it’s kind of stubby and its engines are older than those on the freshened 747. Probably the A380 will win the mpg battle, but only by a few percentage points. And both manufacturers (but especially Airbus) might end up losing money on these programs. Oh well.

First flight:

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Anyway, that’s current battle above your heads….