Reply to post: A380: not so ugly, and with hidden strengths

Airbus to build plane that's even uglier than the A380

Milton Silver badge

A380: not so ugly, and with hidden strengths

The A380 isn't sleek, I grant you, but that's because the wing is bigger than it needs to be for the current model: it was sized for the expected lengthened version with fuselage inserts fore and aft of the wings. (I don't think they've built any of those yet?)

Its future is in doubt, of course, as the industry shakes out the 'point-to-point' vs 'hub' approaches, and obviously the A380 is designed for hub. But one should bear in mind one obvious strength—it is a very comfortable plane to fly in, and passengers show a marked preference even over the excellent B777—and one less obvious asset: its size makes it exceptionally resilient in turbulence.

When the A380 was being (controversially) designed, no one realised, so far as I'm aware, that climate change was rapidly spawning increased episodes and severity of turbulence. The smaller aircraft feel turbulence more, and are at greater risk from it.

The A380 isn't immune, of course, but the dawning realisation that increased turbulence poses new threats may yet move the market back toward big aircraft. This would be a remarkable example of serendipity giving a plane a new lease of life.

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