Exclusive Photos: Airbus Introduces the A380plus with New Split Winglet Design

Xavier Trudeau
Juin 19, 2017

In a statement Sunday, John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officers - customers, said: "The A380plus is an efficient way to offer even better economics and improved operational performance at the same time".

Airbus is to increase the maximum take-off weight of the A380 as part of a package of enhancements to the aircraft, which it will collectively brand as the "A380plus".

These winglets are some 4.7 m in height (3.5 m above the wing and 1.2 m below the wing).

The improvements allow for up to 4-per-cent fuel-burn savings, it said in a press release on Monday. While improving aerodynamics, the new winglet will also help reduce drag.

While the only visible change on the outside is the new winglets, customers flying the aircraft will notice many new changes once they have boarded the aircraft.

The A380plus features longer maintenance check intervals, a reduced six-year check downtime and systems improvements created to reduce maintenance costs and increase aircraft availability. This would allow it to carry up to 80 more passengers (without any reduction in passenger comfort) over the current range of 8 200 nautical miles (nm), or carry the same number of passengers as current A380s over a 300 nm-longer range.

Thanks to an innovative seating concept developed by Airbus and its seating partners, Airbus is able to maintain an 18inch seat-width while offering airlines an 11-abreast Economy Class on the main-deck in a "3-5-3" configuration.

Most notably, the forward "grand" staircase on the A380 will be abandoned in favor of a new staircase that will be located at door two.

The new version will feature 13% lower costs per seat compared to the current A380, according to Airbus.

The rival Boeing 787 on the tarmac at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget onSunday.

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