The Airbus A380, A History

B2035

This is a book that will appeal stronger to aviation enthusiasts and provides a valuable, accurate and detailed history that has been beautifully illustrated throughout the book with some stunning photography. It is also a very valuable look at the strengths and weaknesses of European integration and the latent hostility between some European politicians and the US. This is therefore also a valuable political lesson that will appeal to a wider readership.

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NAME: The Airbus A380, A History
CATEGORY: Book Reviews
DATE: 280814
FILE: R2035
AUTHOR: Graham M Simons
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 256
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Airliners, wide-body, European aerospace, multi-national, jet airliner, civil aircraft, passenger jet, distributed construction
ISBN: 978-1-78303-041-5
IMAGE: B2035.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/okrjwjd
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: European attempts to build an aerospace company to destroy the US aerospace companies has met with varied success. The A380 was conceived as a giant aircraft at a time when this was common aerospace thinking, taking a large capacity wide-bodied aircraft to reduce the number of aircraft needed on a given route, to reduce operating costs.

The author has begun an informative review of the history of the A380 with a look at earlier giant aircraft with the Do-X giant seaplane mounting 12 engines to achieve the necessary power for flight. The British Empire flying boats and the American Boeing 314 flying boat provide balance and the H-4 Hercules demonstrates a limit in size for a piston engine flying boat and wooden construction. Pre-World War Two, large aircraft tended to be flying boats because there was a lack of existing airfields with the length to support very large aircraft and because designers felt more comfortable with the proven ability of the flying boat hull to be expanded without major unknown structural factors. World War Two saw rapid development of heavy bombers and the superlative British Avro Lancaster achieved a ten ton bomb load with the range to bomb Berlin. The US B-29 took the design of heavy bombers further forward and dropped the first nuclear weapons. The result was that post-war civil aircraft grew in size and several were adapted from heavy bomber designs. The author has followed this development with the Boeing StratoCruiser, derived from the B-29 with a double deck accommodation, and included the Saunders Roe P192 as a design concept that would have produced a jet-powered flying boat with five decks and 24 RR Conway jet engines. The P192 also demonstrates that designers and manufacturers were still thinking of the flying boat as a viable giant commercial aircraft.

Jet passenger aircraft were initially constrained by the development stage of jet engines. The Comet was not only the first commercial passenger jet, but it was an attractive and comfortable aircraft that flew with four embedded engines. Initially successful, a structural failure suspended operations for a protracted period and resulted from the learning curved required for fast, high-altitude aircraft. However, it was also a relatively small aircraft, as was the later Boeing 707 that introduced suspended engines that permitted adoption of new engines during its working life and the potential to scale the design up and down much more easily than an aircraft with engines embedded in the wing roots. The author has therefore taken his story on with the Boeing 747 that was originally intended as a double-deck fuselage and the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy military transport giant. This introduction is nicely written and delightfully illustrated, with the A380 story beginning on page 37.

To understand the A380, it is necessary to understand the Airbus company and its objectives, including the massive illegal subsidies paid to the company by the European Union in its attempt to humble the US aerospace industry. Airbus adopted the Boeing concept of scaling successful designs and, the contentious issue of subsidies aside, the company has developed a family of commercially successful designs that have sold well around the world.

In the late 1980s, the aircraft manufacturers began to think of building even larger passenger aircraft. The Super Jumbo was intended to dwarf the Boeing 747. The author has reviewed the Boeing, Douglas and Airbus concept designs. He has not overlooked the development of the parallel cargo aircraft development than has produced Guppy designs to enable Airbus, in particular, to share work around its plants in different European countries and fly large sections to a final assembly location.

From this point, the author has followed the history of the A380 in detail and it makes an absorbing account of what has become a significant commercial aircraft. With its introduction into each of the operating airlines.

This is a book that will appeal stronger to aviation enthusiasts and provides a valuable, accurate and detailed history that has been beautifully illustrated throughout the book with some stunning photography. It is also a very valuable look at the strengths and weaknesses of European integration and the latent hostility between some European politicians and the US. This is therefore also a valuable political lesson that will appeal to a wider readership.

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