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him225

why no a380 freighters?

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If boeing has managed to sell 748 freighters why there are no a380 ones? One explanation I found is that the a380 is weighted out before it can be volumed out at typical cargo density. But why should that matter? If it is able to carry what it can carry at comparable or more efficiency/less expense than a 748f then it has potential to be an aircraft of choice. The additional volume then should be a bonus as it would allow larger volume cargo to be adjusted without weight penalty and premium. Another reason cited is the airbus's inability to adhere to delivery schedule. Is that the sole cause or are there other more obvious deal breaking issues? How is the payload carrying efficiency in comparison to the 748f?

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Interesting... I have no idea, though. Never really thought about it.

Does Airbus even offer the A380 as a freighter option?

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Plus, converting ex-pax frames to freight would be extremely costly, given the upper deck would have to be entirely reinforced. Then there's the loading- the 747 has the advantage of the opening nose. 

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Airbus offered a 380F when the aircraft was in development. UPS and FDX both ordered them. Both companies at the time bulked out with volume rather than weight. Both companies canceled orders due to problems at Airbus meeting deadlines and changes to design.

 

Airbus does not offer a freighter for the 380 now. For heavy oversized freight I could see issues with design. A nose door would be next to impossible. Upper deck access would require new designs to ground equipment and efficiency issues with loading and unloading.

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The main reasons are already stated:  No possible nose door for big cargo and the biggest issue is the volume weight ratio you mentioned.  Usually you dont send stones or coals with airfreight, but electronics, perishable goods (seafood etc) and so forth.  Basically volume is always more important than weight nowadays. Also it is not really structurally possible to remove the 2 floors. so you have even less height than in other cargo planes.  So at the end its not as flexible as a 747 cargo with nose door, not as cheap as a t7 cargo and certainly not as cheap as 747 converted freighters, as more and more 747 come out of passenger service.  Combine that with the sheer size of the plane and its limited destinations, its not really an option.

 

The days of 4 engined planes are over, even airbus is admitting that with the a350-1000

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Lack of nose cargo door in what is supposed to be a large freighter seems to be another thing going against the a380.

I think removing a single floor would be sufficient to set it on par if not surpass other freighters without losing structural rigidity.

 

Still not clear about the volume weight ratio problem though, from what I understand it just means a380 has a larger space allowing easier accommodation of less density cargo. Why is that a downside?

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The MD11 and the 777F seem to be doing fine without a nose door, though. I guess a big part is the price, lots of freighters seem to be P2F passenger conversions - watch this space in 10-12 years, you might see 380 freighters at some point.

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The 747 was originally designed for freight and the passenger model was thought to be a short term solution as supersonic would eventually become popular. That didn't turn out that way

 

Reason why the flight deck on the 747 is on the upper deck was to load freight in the front. Airbus went with the Beluga having the flight deck lowered instead. A380 has neither of these solutions

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The Super Guppy had no problem with opening the front of the plane by pivoting the entire nose, including the cockpit, to the side.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aero_Spacelines_Super_Guppy

 

One could also go the route of the 747 Dreamlifter and swing the tail to one side.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Dreamlifter

 

Doing the same on an A380 may be a bit more complex, but likely still possible. For cargo, the plan was for 3 decks as the upper deck is structurally required, so it would only be carrying cargo containers, not bulk or oversized loads.

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The Super Guppy had no problem with opening the front of the plane by pivoting the entire nose, including the cockpit, to the side.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aero_Spacelines_Super_Guppy

 

One could also go the route of the 747 Dreamlifter and swing the tail to one side.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Dreamlifter

 

Doing the same on an A380 may be a bit more complex, but likely still possible. For cargo, the plan was for 3 decks as the upper deck is structurally required, so it would only be carrying cargo containers, not bulk or oversized loads.

Yes it can be done but it puts all the weight to one side of the fuselage and requires stands to hold the weight, therefore a tedious process to open up. This is the reason why this solution is not common, it is not as good an option

 

Upward opening doors can hold its own weight and opens with hydraulics, the perfect solution

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Very good question! When I read the answers I think the conclusion is - it is too damn big ^^ Crazy, when you think about the relative little time since the first plane was developed.

 

Maybe we see an A380F in the future, converted if it pays for someone or needs the volume rather than weight. The 380 was/is developed ahead its time.

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well I guess the missing piece is as stated in the above link a higher empty weight and aircraft cost from the large fuselage structure forming that higher volume, which probably makes it less efficient indeed than other freighters for payload by weight. Also found a mention it has lower wing span and aspect ratio than required of 90m for its design, to minimize airport restrictions at cost of 10% reduction in fuel efficiency. Both carried over from it being a passenger design. Perhaps it would become viable at some point if the overall freight density becomes low enough to overcome these and make it a cost effective option in comparison.

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