It is amazing how well Airbus sold their A-380 concept, as it is the biggest passenger jet built, holding the most people. In a rush to own the biggest airliner many airlines with long routes carrying lots of people, and of course designed with the perfect fleet material decided that would be the best solution. A gigantic airliner, the A380, could be fully loaded and carry as many as 4 or 5 smaller airliners all in one flight. The strategy seemed legitimate, especially for those certain circumstances, plus the prestige of having such aircraft in the fleet. Of course, all that changed when a few of the aircraft started developing “non-structural cracks” in aft wing fairings.
Did these airlines jump the gun, should they have waited for a larger 747 aircraft version which would be nearly as big, nearly the payload, but also has a strong history spanning over 4-decades? Some say, these airlines should have waited for the more superior aircraft, of course, in hindsight that’s a no brainer, as the 6-8 week fix on the A380 on those “non-structural” parts is going to be costly for the airlines.
And yes, the A380 is still a formidable competitor and those fixes are already integrated into the new aircraft coming off the assembly line at Airbus now, but for those who took the special financing and risk to be first, well, some say it couldn’t have been worse – sure it could have and broken or cracked fairings are not really such a big deal compared to something that could have been more serious.
The Boeing 747-8 is a great aircraft plus good aircraft operations, it’s quite a bit better than the original 747s, and as most of the modern day aircraft now, they are 70% more efficient than those built in the late 60s and early 70s. It’s a lot like the original C-130s, the A and B models are nothing like the C-130J, hell it’s a different aircraft, just as the newest and greatest Boeing 747-8 is now. I have friends who have flown in the A380 and bragged about the experience, and they’ve told me it wiggles and sways quite a bit, and maybe it’s good that the aircraft isn’t so rigid, especially if sometimes the parts crack or in a few cases have fallen off.
Still, I can’t see myself flying on one of them until Airbus fixes those small “non-structural” issues as they’ve promised too. This is why I always request a Boeing aircraft when I fly, I just feel so much safer in the air with all that experience surrounding me, and I can’t wait to ride in the smooth flying new 747-8, because I believe it is well worth the wait, as do most airlines it seems. Please consider all this and think on it.