It’s amazing what a winglet and a bit of a reshuffle in the cabin can do. Introducing the new Airbus A380plus. While the remodel includes a 4% reduction in fuel burn and a 13% decrease per seat, the aircraft manufacturer is touting no reduction in comfort, even though it is adding 80 extra seats.
How can this be done? Partly due to increasing the economy section to 11 across compared to the 10, by raising the floor, to increase shoulder and cabin width, without allegedly decreasing any passenger comfort. In the business class cabin, the sidewall bins will be removed, increasing the diagonal angle of seats, and therefore increasing seats.
Other enhancements include the reduction of the sparsely used forward staircase. John Leahy, Airbus COO Customers, explains: “The A380plus is an efficient way to offer even better economics and improved operational performance at the same time.” John adds: “It is a new step for our iconic aircraft to best serve worldwide fast-growing traffic and the evolving needs of the A380 customers. The A380 is well-proven as the solution to increasing congestion at large airports, and in offering a unique, passenger-preferred experience. ”
For anyone who has flown an A380, they’ll appreciate the comfort that the behemoth offers. The new winglets measure approximately 4,7 metres in height (an uplet of 3.5m, and a downlet of 1,2m). It is designed to improve aerodynamics and reduce drag.
According to the release “The optimised cabin layout based on the ‘cabin enablers’ presented at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), allows up to 80 additional seats* with no compromise on comfort: redesigned stairs, a combined crew-rest compartment, sidewall stowage removal, a new 9-abreast seat configuration in premium economy and 11-abreast in economy.”
The A380plus will have an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 578 tonnes providing the flexibility of carrying up to 80 more passengers over today’s range (8,200nm), or flying 300nm further, that might not sound a lot, but it makes a great difference for those city pairs currently just out of reach.
The A380plus features longer maintenance check intervals, a reduced six-year check downtime, and systems improvements, which will reduce maintenance costs and increase aircraft availability, all of this bodes well for the increased passenger traffic affecting the world.