The European aerospace giant Airbus has announced an upgraded version of the world's biggest passenger jet, the A380. However, today Airbus has reassured the world that the A380 will continue to live on with the introduction of the brand new Airbus A380plus.
Airbus has been cutting back its A380 production rate as it seeks to extend the life of the aircraft.
The new winglets measure approximately 4,7 metres in height (an uplet of 3.5m, and a downlet of 1.2m).
It will include an improved fuel efficiency - up to 4 per cent with the addition of winglets - as well as a 13 per cent cost reduction per seat compared to the current variation. While improving aerodynamics, the new winglet will also help reduce drag.
"A380plus is an effective way to offer even more economic benefits and high operating performance", said sales Director of Airbus, John Leahy. Airlines can also expect increased aircraft availability as the A380plus features longer maintenance check intervals, a reduced six-year check downtime, and system improvements.
A380plus will have an increased maximum take-off weight of 578 tonnes carry up to 80 more passengers and fly 300 miles further. This enables an increase in capacity of 23 seats - adding significantly to the A380's revenue-generating potential. This will allow airlines to instead add 10 more business class seats when an angled herringbone arrangement is used.
The A380's generous main-deck cross section - significantly wider than any other commercial airliner - is allowing seat manufacturers to optimise their Premium Economy (PE) seat designs to create the industry's most efficient and comfortable PE layout possible. As the Paris Air Show begins on June 19, it will be interesting to see if any carriers place orders for the new aircraft.