• 27 Mar 2007 at 9:10 AM
  • Airbus

I Would Like The Most Blinged Out SuperJet Available

EmiratesA380.jpgThe super-wealthy are already in competition for who has the biggest, most-blinged out yacht. So why not planes? Joe Sharkey last covered the issue of “mine plane needs to be bigger” in the Times with a story on how some of the biggest ballers were trading up from those cramped, tiny corporate jets to converted commercial jets, including 747s.
Of course it was only a matter of time until someone set their eyes on the new generation of superjumbojets. At least one has already been ordered by a wealthy individual, so you know more are on the way. The price tag for an Airbus A380—the biggest passenger jet ever built—is merely $310 million—which is only four times what the average super yacht costs (if there is such thing as an average super yacht). But that’s for the stripped down version—getting it up to mega mogul speed will take around $100 million
(By the way, if this sort of story sounds vaguely familiar, it’s probably because you read it before on
It Can Hold 853 Passengers, but Why Should You Share? [New York Times]

We’ve had a lot of fun with the troubles European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has had with its giant A380 superjumbo jet but we’ve never actually seen one. Today we’ll get out chance. The first A380 to fly in the United States is scheduled to land at JFK International Airport at half-past noon today. Catch it now because the way those customer orders are being canceled, you may never seen one again.

Lufthansa flying Airbus A380 superjumbo takes off for JFK on first flight to America

  • 07 Dec 2006 at 12:21 PM
  • Airbus

It’s About Time They Hired Some Engineers…


Airbus on Thursday said it plans to invest some $1 billion in India, setting up an engineering facility and a pilot training school.
Airbus also released a study predicting a huge growth in the Indian airline industry, saying that the country will need 1,100 airplanes worth $105 billion by 2025.

Airbus to Invest $1 Billion in India [AP via NYTimes]

  • 05 Dec 2006 at 4:25 PM
  • Airbus

The Yacht Wars Are Over: Let The Super-Corporate Jet Wars Begin

airbus380.jpgSomeone has finally discovered a use for the useless Airbus superjumbomamoth jet A380—converting them into personal jets for corporate executives!
Writing in his Tuesday Morning Quarterback column, Greg Easterbrook describes plans how versions of the new superjets from Boeing and Airbus into luxury personal jets.

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, due at airports in a couple years, is expected to sell to airlines for about $180 million and seat 300 passengers. Last month, Technik unveiled its concept studies for a personal luxury 787, expected to cost around $250 million. In Technik’s proposed layout, the VIP 787 “master stateroom” has “his and hers bathrooms.” There are also “two en-suite guest cabins.” More: “The dining and conference room with full communication facilities is a prime feature of the design, highly visible on entering the plane. The centrally located feature dining table seats 10 for elegant and comfortable dining, in fully certified seats. Dinner service is effortlessly carried out from the buffet credenzas on either side of the dining table. Full height wardrobe storage is provided for guest coats and bags. As required, a 42-inch plasma screen can rise up from the credenza to the aft of the dining table. This room can be privatized from the entrance hall and forward lounge by solid sliding doors. The integrated movie theatre is a complete entertainment extravaganza. It is the ideal live entertainment venue as well.” Plasma TVs everywhere — you’re going to climb aboard your own private $250 million mega-luxury jet and just watch television?
Most overdone and offensive will be the personal version of the A380, a jetliner designed to carry about 600 passengers. The personal version will be called the VVIP380 and will sell for $400 million or more, depending on the level of interior luxury. Technik says it expects at least 10 VVIP380s will be purchased, and implies most will be bought by oil sheiks. Because the A380 has two decks, in a corporate-jet version, one entire deck would be reserved for the CEO, the other deck for underlings. Go here and have a look for yourself. Airbus calls the proposed plane “a flying palace.”

How Long Until Some CEO Flies in an Entire Personal Airbus 380 to a Conference to Denounce Fossil Fuel Waste? []

  • 02 Oct 2006 at 10:37 AM
  • Airbus

Airbus Superjumbo Jet Will Make Delays Longer, Skies More Dangerous

magritte-airbus.JPGThe phrase “wake vortex” sounds like something from science fiction. Isn’t this what happens when they stop punching in the numbers on the Lost Island?
Apparently it’s real. Turns “wake vortex” is the air spinning at high speeds off the wings of airplanes after takeoff. And it’s another problem with Airbus’s superjumbo A380 jet. The wings on the A380 create a wake vortex which remains dangerous for other planes taking off behind it for a minute or two more than other large airliners. During the peak flight hours during which most A380 flights will likely be scheduled, this could create serious delays at airports.
Of course, that’s assuming the airports even have room to fit the A380. Many airports simply do not have room to fit the larger plane, and some US municipalities are skeptical about whether it makes sense to spend funds to make the necessary adjustments to accommodate a European built plane.
Study Says Airbus Super Jet Poses Airport Traffic Problem [New York Times]

  • 21 Sep 2006 at 9:12 AM
  • Airbus

Waiting for the A380

magritte-airbus.JPG ESTRAGON: Nothing to be done.
VLADIMIR: (advancing with short, stiff strides, legs wide apart). I’m beginning to come round to that opinion. All my life I’ve tried to put it from me, saying Vladimir, be reasonable, you haven’t yet tried everything. And I resumed the struggle. (He broods, musing on the struggle. Turning to Estragon.) So there you are again. The A380 is delayed again.
The inability of Airbus to deliver its super jumbo jet is becoming just plain weird. To put it more philosophically, the Airbus A 380 is in a constant state of Becoming but it never seems to arrive at Being.

Airbus SA, maker of the yet-to-be-delivered A380 super jumbo passenger jet, is about to announce another production delay, a report said Wednesday.
French newspaper Les Echos said that Airbus would announce, perhaps this week, a new A380 delivery delay.
Airbus will reveal that it will only be able to deliver four of the nine A380s it has promised for next year, the BBC reported.
The A380, which cost $14 billion to develop, is the world’s largest passenger airliner with a seating capacity of more than 800.

Airbus expects another A380 delay [UPI in the Washington Times]

  • 05 Sep 2006 at 11:46 AM
  • Airbus

Another Head Rolls At Airbus

magritte-airbus.JPGThe man who led Airbus’s super jumbo-jet program whose troubles this June helped crush the share price in its parent company, EADS, is finally out. His departure follows the resignation of Airbus’s chief executive, Gustav Humbert, and the French co-chairman of the parent, Noel Forgeard. Whether or not the super jumbo-jet ever pays off for the company, it has been an absolute disaster for most of the executives involved in it.
Note the headline from the International Herald Tribune story below. Shouldn’t it work exactly the opposite way. Retention of managers who make bad decisions and fail to execute on company plans should add to a company’s woes. The fact that executives have left or been forced out, however, at least indicates that the company is taking its problems seriously…if a bit slowly.

Executive shuffle adds to Airbus’s woes
[International Herald Tribune]

  • 29 Jun 2006 at 12:11 PM
  • Airbus

Did The Germans Wreck Airbus?

magritte-airbus.JPGThe Germans have mostly gotten a pass in the Airbus mess, avoiding the messy French meltdown that has some talking about toppling the government in Paris. But do the Germans deserve to get off so easily? An article in the International Herald Tribune suggestions maybe not.

The problem that has delayed the A380’s entry into commercial service for more than a year falls into the highly annoying category. For reasons that have defied simple explanation, the wiring harness for each plane keeps showing up with serious defects that can leave them useless. Because many of the bundles are made in Hamburg and then shipped to Toulouse, France, accusations have flown between the French and German plants as to whose fault this is.

Free Flow: A380 trips but has fans