Back Story QF32 p 345 – A380 (Route) Specifications

A380 (Route) Specifications

WARNING:  This is a very technical posting!

Writes Mike Farmery (a friend)  from the UK:

 I would appreciate it if you could help me with some information.   I am giving a talk at a local school very soon called ‘The Chemistry of Flying’. I would like to start it off with a section that describes just how amazing modern air travel really is – in my opinion – a pinnacle of human achievement.   One of the things I want to stress is that it is both remarkable and routine at the same time.

 I thought that it would be good to focus on a particular case and a good one would be a Qantas A380 flying the routes from from London to Singapore, and from Los Angeles to Melbourne.  Would you please supply the following facts ….

Mike,  it’s my pleasure to pass the following information about the A380’s routes.   There is a lot of technical information here, so use as much or as little as you like.  The data is for one flight flown during the stated month.  Performance factors will change with the selected freight,  load, route, atmospheric conditions and speed-altitude profile flown.

Route 1:   London – Singapore (March)

Alex de Crespigny in the A380 Cockpit

Month:   March
Cruise Mach:  0.845
Cost Index:   130
Passengers:  450
Ground Distance:  6,070 nm
Overage Wind:    +32 kts
Flight Time:  11.92 Hrs
Air Distance:  5,689 nm
Fuel Order (pre flight):  175,400  kg
Trip Fuel:   158,100 kg   (includes 1 tonne taxi fuel)
Flight Fuel:   157,100 kg  (start of takeoff to end of runway)
Zero Fuel Weight:  362,900 kg  (maximum is 366,000 kg)
Take Off Weight:   537,300 kg  (maximum 569,000 kg)
Total Traffic Load:   62,694 kg   (passengers, luggage, cargo)
Change in fuel burn per ton of change in takeoff weight:  319 kg
% Maximum Fuel:  68%
% Maximum Brakes Release Weight:  94%
% Maximum Traffic Load:   96%
PAX nm/kg (fuel):  16.29
Kg nm per kg fuel:  2270
 
Countries over-flown:   United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Germany , Poland, Ukraine, Russia (over Caspian Sea), Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India  (over the Bay of Bengal), Myanmar,  Malaysia, Singapore

Route 2:   Los Angeles – Sydney (September)

Do not be concerned – the A380 does uplift a lot of fuel on the Los Angeles – Melbourne sector, but with the very high passenger and freight uplift, the key specific fuel consumption ratios are much better than the same ratios for alternative aircraft.

A380 landing at Sydney airport

Month:   September
Cruise Mach: 0.84
Cost Index: 60
Passengers: 450
Ground Distance: 6,971 nm
Overage Wind: +1 kts
Flight Time: 14.4 Hrs
Air Distance: 6,957 nm
Fuel Order (pre flight): 208,500 kg
Trip Fuel: 195,600 kg (includes 1 tonne taxi fuel)
Flight Fuel:  194,600 kg (start of takeoff to end of runway)
Zero Fuel Weight: 363,600 kg (maximum is 366,000 kg)
Take Off Weight: 568,600 kg (maximum 569,000 kg)
Total Traffic Load: 55,609 kg (passengers, luggage, cargo)
Change in fuel burn per ton of change in takeoff weight: 316 kg
% Maximum Fuel: 80%
% Maximum Brakes Release Weight:  99%
% Maximum Traffic Load: 85%
PAX nm/kg (fuel): 16.09
Kg nm per kg fuel: 1,988

  Also, approximately,

Average Speeds:

True Air Speed at cruising altitude (~ 35,000′) – 550 kts    (633 miles/hr   or 1,020 km/hr)

Fuel consumption:

per engine at full power take-off:  10,000 kg/hr  (or 40,000 kg/hr for all four engines)

per engine at cruise:  3,000 kg/hr   (or 12,000 kg/hr for all four engines)

CO2 emissions:

I appreciate that the numbers above appear staggering, but it’s worthwhile to keep them in perspective.   It’s important to appreciate that only 2% of the world’s total CO2 emissions originate from the burning of aviation fuels.  More statistics for CO2 emissions (from multiple sources):

2%  – Aviation
3% – Maritime
4% – Cement production
85% – Road transport
 
I have so much other data on this topic that we can slice, dice and drill down into, but will contain my enthusiasm unless asked to reveal more….

One comment

  1. Rod Jones. · · Reply

    Great listing of specifications, i’m looking forward to witnessing some of these in January on the Syd-Lax route!
    Cheers mate.

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