A3XX - Aircraft Profiles - Aviation Resource Center Navigation Bar

A3XX General Overview


As envisaged, the A3XX, would be a four-engined, long-haul airliner seating 530-570 passengers in three classes - or up to 966 passengers in an all-economy layout. This is some 30 per cent more passengers than in today's largest airliner, the Boeing 747-400.

Inevitable, airlines envisage a wide range of routes for the A3XX, ranging from short-haul high-density operations to very long trans-pacific flights. The consensus view of the airlines is that they are generally satisfied with the standard of comfort currently offered to passengers. A turn-around time of 90 minutes - the industry standard for long-haul aircraft today - is considered essential. This is already achievable for passengers on the A3XX - with just two airbridges joined to the main deck, which is typical of what happens at major airports today.

Passengers would be seated on two decks. Access to the top deck would be via stairs at the front and rear of the aircraft. The economy class would have two aisles, with nine or ten abreast seating on the main deck, and seven or eight abreast seating on the upper deck. These arrangements, though similar to those already in service today, would provide passengers with a more spacious cabin.

With more and more people forecast to travel by air, a large aircraft such as the A3XX is essential if increased traffic to be carried without building additional airports. Economies of scale and technological benefits would ensure that the direct operating costs per seat of the A3XX would be at least 15-20 per cent better than that of today's largest aircraft. This would help airlines to contain their costs, and maintain the continued fall in cost of travel in real terms.

Projected to have a wingspan of 77,1 m and a length of 69,7 m, the A3XX would be some 12,5 m larger from wingtip-to-wingtip than today's 747-400, but about 1 m shorter. A3XX maximum take-off weight would be some 476 tonnes, compared with 395 tonnes for the 747-400. Four engines in the 320 kN thrust-class - already available from the three large-engine manufacturers - would power the A3XX.

Airbus Industrie foresees a potential long-term market for more than 800 very large aircraft up to the year 2014. The A3XX would be Airbus Industrie's entrant in this market if discussions among the partners of the consortium and Boeing on a joint project are inconclusive.

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