Airbus has unveiled plans for an enhanced A380 superjumbo, the “A380plus”, with new large winglets to provide up to 4% fuel burn savings and a 13% cost reduction per seat versus the current A380.
A development study released by the company also envisages an optimized A380 maintenance program and enhanced cabin features first shown at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in April 2017.
The new winglets are about 4.7m (15.4ft) high, with an uplet of 3.5m and a downlet of 1.2m, and are designed to improve aerodynamics and reduce drag. The cabin layout is based on the “cabin enablers” shown at AIX and allows up to 80 more seats.
There are also redesigned stairs, a combined crew-rest compartment, sidewall stowage removal, and a new nine-abreast seat configuration in Premium Economy and 11-abreast in Economy.
Airbus says the A380plus will have an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 578 tons to provide the flexibility to carry the extra passengers over today’s range of 8,200nm or to fly 300nm further.
The aircraft also features longer maintenance check intervals, a reduced six-year check downtime and systems improvements which the company says will reduce maintenance costs and increase aircraft availability.