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Airbus floats concept for A380 freighter conversion

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Passenger aircraft are sometimes converted to all-cargo mode after more than 20 years of service, but the A380 is already being retired after just a dozen years or so. Is there a way to keep them flying as cargo planes? Airbus is trying to find out if customers are interested. (www.freightwaves.com) Altro...

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jbermo
jbermo 7
An A380 may someday carry light freight, but it can never carry heavy cargo. . . . the problem being severe floor load restrictions. Incredibly, the A-380's integrated floor beam anchor points were never designed with heavy floor loads in mind. Increasing such would almost require rebuilding from scratch and that ain't going to happen.
SkyAware123
Not all cargo is heavy. I'd say most will probably work just fine.
ssobol
Except that one of the big jobs freighter conversion companies do is beef up the floor. Bigger problem is how do you efficiently load the main deck?
patpylot
i suppose that if Airbus had constructed and designed the 380 for cargo conversion, the operators now stuck with an unusable passenger airliner would like to alter the big bird to carry cargo. BUT, since airbus did not design for cargo conversion, the question is entirely moot. Fedex and UPS did option the 380 years ago but declined the options when the plane was revealed inadequate for the task.
madrockradio
From what I understand it wasn't the design, but rather the delays, that caused Fedex and UPS to cancel their orders. The passenger version was delayed and engineers from the A380F program were moved to the passenger program, which would have resulted in even further delays for the freight version – and the cargo carriers didn't want to wait any longer.
tomasz2013
Airbus claimed the A380F would haul 150 tons 5500 miles. Then that drastically dropped to 110 using only 70% capacity. That and the fuel costs is what killed the A380F.
mutrock
Their only other option is scrap.
jjhart
You have only to look at a picture of the A380, and one of the 747F with its "jaw" wide open. If cargo operators need such a huge aircraft they will always buy the 747-8F. Airbus could only compete with a total new design. No way!
jjhart
You have only to look at a picture of the A380, and one of the 747F with its "jaw" wide open. If cargo operators need such a huge aircraft, they will always buy the 747-8F. Airbus could only compete with a total new design. No way!
williambaker08
I dont really think a Combi aircraft is going to get to much interest. I mean its a good idea but the 747 Combi wasn’t a big seller.
patpylot
perhaps.. it always depends on market timing and market conditions.
21voyageur
But the current pandemic influenced environment will eventually pass and it will be "business as usual" at one point. The 380 was not designed with a Plan-B / cargo in mind so by the time a viable technical solution could find its way to the market (via third party of Airbus itself) the market will have shifted. All of course IMHO.
GeorgePepe
There was supposed to be some earlier and fedex ordered some but they were never made. Maybe fedex will get their planes now.

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