A380-800 Mini Performance Analysis [Takeoff Distances, Fuel Burn, Range]

Hello Community!

Welcome to 24.2! Let’s take a look at the new A380 and break down some aspects of its performance. Anything negative I say is to be taken as purely a statement and not a criticism/complaint towards the Infinite Flight developers.

Takeoff Performance

I tested the A380 at MTOW, SL, ISA as a baseline. I also ran tests in ISA + 15 (simulating the hot climates of the Middle East) and 5,600 ft MSL (the elevation of FAOR, the highest airport the A380 visits). To run these tests, I used the A380 Profiles Guide provided to the community by a couple kind beta testers. Measured takeoff distances are the actual takeoff roll plus 15% safety margin.

Conditions Airbus-Quoted Unofficial Profile Percentage
MTOW, SL, ISA 9,800 ft 6,200 ft 63.3%
MTOW, SL, ISA + 15 10,200 ft 6,500 ft 63.7%
MTOW, 5600 ft MSL, ISA N/A 8,300 ft N/A
MTOW, 5600 ft MSL, ISA + 15 N/A 8,400 ft N/A
75%, SL, ISA 7,200 ft 4,900 ft 68.1%
75%, SL, ISA + 15 7,800 ft 5,400 ft 69.2%
75%, 5600 ft MSL, ISA 9,700 ft 6,800 ft 70.1%
75%, 5600 ft MSL, ISA + 15 10,100 ft 7,000 ft 69.3%
50%, SL, ISA 5,400 ft 4,500 ft 83.3%
50%, SL, ISA + 15 5,900 ft 5,000 ft 84.7%
50%, 5600 ft MSL, ISA 7,000 ft 5,800 ft 82.9%
50%, 5600 ft MSL, ISA + 15 7,300 ft 6,000 ft 82.2%
25%, SL, ISA 5,100 ft 5,100 ft 100%
25%, SL, ISA + 15 5,200 ft 5,900 ft 113.5%
25%, 5600 ft MSL, ISA 5,400 ft 7,200 ft 133.3%
25%, 5600 ft MSL, ISA + 15 5,600 ft 8,300 ft 148.2%

At first glance, this doesn’t look good at all. Especially towards the heavier weights, using the profiles results in some very short takeoff rolls (interestingly enough, the percentages fall roughly line with other recent aircraft like the 777 family, E-Jet family, 757, and A220). However, what’s important is the interaction within each weight - with the exception of 25% (in which the profile has the aircraft extremely far back on the thrust curve), the percentages at each weight are more or less constant no matter the conditions. This tells me that the A380 model is well calibrated to the actual model, and there exists a thrust/flap configuration that would bring it in line with the IRL aircraft. I did some testing and the results are below.

Weight Throttle/N1 Flaps Notes
MTOW 78% / 90% 2 Increase throttle after rotation, will not climb at this power.
75% 80% / 93% 2 None
50% 88% / 99% 1+F None
25% 75% / 88% 1+F Add 1% throttle for every 3 degrees above 15C OAT, and 1% throttle for every 700 ft above MSL.

Fuel and Range Performance

Above is the fuel chart for the reworked A380-800. Honestly, not a whole lot has changed from the old A380. The profile has remained mostly intact, and the burns are within a couple hundreds of the old one (the maximum flight time is also similar, about 22hr 32m on the new one versus 22hr flat on the old one).

Let’s take a look at the Infinite Flight A380’s range compared to the real life version, as a function of zero-fuel load percentage. Airbus quotes that the A380 can carry a maximum payload of about 185,000 lbs (28%), so we’ll start there.

Zero-Fuel Load Percentage Airbus-Quoted Infinite Flight Percentage
28% 6,600 nm 7,920 nm 120.0%
25% 7,000 nm 8,330 nm 119.0%
20% 7,600 nm 9,000 nm 118.4%
15% 8,300 nm 9,680 nm 116.6%
10% 8,800 nm 9,880 nm 112.3%
5% 9,300 nm 9,980 nm 107.3%
0% 9,600 nm 10,070 nm 104.9%

Very happy with these results. Anything within 20% range wise I consider to be quite a good model - a nice balance of realism and building in a layer of protection for kids playing the game who may not know exactly what they’re doing. Well done to the Infinite Flight team on this one.

Overall Comments

Relatively short topic as far as analyses go, but overall I’m very satisfied with this new addition. I was fully expecting another 777-200(LR), but I’m happy to say this is not that. Enjoy the A380!

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43 Likes

Thanks so much for this great analysis of the mini performance for the A388 on behalf of the IFC to browse & incorporate into their flight planning🙏 @AndrewWu
I have bookmarked this alongside the official profile of A380-800 so I can inject as much realism as possible piloting the 🐋😎

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Your analysis really helps us to improve flying skills performance, especially how to calculate power setting for takeoff, fuel consumption and proper cruising altitudes! Thanks Andrew!

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Thanks for the detailed report :)

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Thanks for this!
In my experience most people are taking off too quickly, and as a result too early and too high.
I’ve watched videos of cockpit POVs, spotted them plenty of times at my home airport SFO, and have flown as a passenger in 11 A380’s. So I’m pretty nitpicky with how close the behavior of the plane is.

This morning in preparation of my 1st long haul later today I was also experimenting with finding the sweet spot for a more realistic take off. I was at 90% MTOW and 79% throttle—very close to the results you had. Rotation was 155 and ground speed was about 173-175 at around 1000-1300 fpm. At around 1500 ft giving some throttle, like you mentioned, to 82-83% helps with gaining some speed.

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Thank you so much! I’m also relieved by how this aircraft feels. If I had one complaint it would be how high it cruises. Perhaps starting a little lower would be realistic. Would that have much of an effect on fuel burn?

I’ve been climbing 1500fpm to 5000ft, 2500fpm to 15000ft, 1300fpm to 24000 and 1000/500fpm to cruise. It seems to climb fairly consistently without going over 100% N1. How much effect on fuel burn do climb rates have?

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For the A380 you’re generally limited by power, not fuel. It barely uses more fuel climbing than it does cruising. I have no idea why it’s more efficient pushing 100, 105, even 109% N1 but it just is what it is. When I do these guides I generally don’t really pay attention to the “realism” factor, I just go by number.

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Fuel burn goes down with altitude and up with %N1, as any aircraft. As such, it remains exactly the same as in the old version, but the new version requires less %N1. The limit for continuous thrust (climb or cruise) is about 98.5% N1, as from the FCOM. 100% N1 or more can only be reached exceptionnaly and for a short time.

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This is true but for some reason the A380’s altitude effect outweighs its N1 effect at higher weights. I have no idea why, but I think it is the only plane in the game to do so. For example at 80% load FL370 has about 106% N1 and just under 27,000 lb/hr, while lower altitudes like 300, 320, etc have around 95% N1 but almost 28,000 lb/hour. Result is that most efficient cruise in the A380 is mostly over 100% N1 until you get to like 20% load.

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Ah, it might well be the case, though we should not fly these thrust settings. It could be the case also that there are no precise enough values around to get them right!

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Any notes regarding cruising with flaps? This seems like it could extend the A380’s range quite a lot depending on how you tested it:

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He’s right, it does reduce fuel burn by quite a bit (~3200 lbs/hour when heavy diminishing towards 0 as you get lighter). I don’t normally deal with profile bugs or whatever when making guides as I don’t think most people will want to cruise flaps down.

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It’s great to see how the new 380 unites the IFC community such that everyone is flying the 380 throughout the world!!!