A-380 Airbus in trouble

There is mounting information to show that the new A-380 Airbus plane as made by EADS is seriously over-weight. All of the evidence points to the fact that EADS who build the plane at Toulouse have known about the problem for a considerable time but decided to sweep it under the carpet till after the maiden-flight and the Paris Air Show.

Excess weight is said to be between 10 to 16 tonnes, depending on how you look at the figures. Which if judged against Solid Modelling on computers, suggests very weak Project Management at Toulouse.

Consequently, to restore the power-to-weight ratio Rolls-Royce are hurriedly having to try to get more power out of the new Trent jet-engine. All of which means that the A-380 will use more fuel and so not be able to fly as far in one flight.

When the plane took-off at its Toulouse debut flight in April 2005 it only had a part fuel load, so as not to be too heavy when landing. Which means the A-380 took-off at only 75% of its maximum take-off weight of 560 tonnes. The tare weight is approx. 280 tonnes, so its fuel tanks were only half-full on take-off.

To rectify this Airbus are now delaying delivery dates to the airlines.

Extra engine power may mean more fuel consumption. All of which comes at a time when world Oil prices are moving higher anyway.

If the planes will be late on delivery and not achieving the original fuel performance targets then the loss and expense claims on builders EADS could be considerable.

The A-380 Airbus on the runway prior to its maiden flight in Toulouse in April this year.