What next for the White Whale?

Hey guys, this is a continuation from my previous post!

An A380 operated by Malaysian airlines used the aircraft last week , transporting 26 tons of Cargo. That is correct, CARGO. The first known only cargo flight flew from London to Kuala Lumpur.

As more A380s are being retired by several airlines, what do you think is the future for the A380?

  • Trash the White Whale
  • Convert it into Cargo

0 voters

Cya later IFC ^_^


The cargo you are referring to is much different than what you may think.

Any aircraft can carry lots of relatively light PPE that is going to way less than each would be passenger on the seats.

Converting the A380 into a fully fledged cargo liner though, that may not be feasible given the floors itself won’t be able to hold such weights.


An A380F would never had the true potential to be a large freighter. An-124, 747F, C-5 and An-225, what do all of those very large freighters have in common? A giant nose cargo door. The A380’s design doesn’t allow that. Another big issue is that there would be too much empty space while already surpassing MTOW (Maximum TakeOff Weight), similar to the early versions of the C-141, but the reverse problem. Lockheed solved the issue by simply streching the C-141, however, it would be much harder for Airbus to solve their issue. Furthermore, Boeing was already a big name in the freighter market, with 737Fs, 747Fs, 767Fs and at the time (mid-2000s) the recently launched 777F, while Airbus only did well with the A300F, the A330F isn’t doing very well. The same thing applies nowadays

Interesting, ignoring the fact that the floor can’t hold the weight, couldn’t they just do a simple side door like MD-11? As it is a pretty popular large cargo aircraft with no nose door.

There are numerous problems that would prevent this aircraft from being converted to cargo.

  • The nose section is designed for passenger services. The 747 has a flight deck high up in the fuselage, while the A380 has its flight deck near the lower deck. This would make it almost impossible to convert it with a nose door. The nose door would be the only real way to make the A380 worth it for cargo.

  • It’s simply to large. It wouldn’t be able to even fly with a full load of cargo. Why fly a huge aircraft that you can’t load al the way, instead of a 767 that can be filled the whole way.

  • It’s a very expensive aircraft. The engines are not very economical, and based on the statements above, it would not be worth it to buy a conversion for cargo services.

This is just my opinion, but I think the A380 should be scrapped.


The MD-11 is a large freighter, the A380 wouldn’t do well, it’s too big (Very large aircraft) to have a simple nose cargo door, the 747 is way more viable


Yeah, I can’t really imagine that many routes that the aircraft would be able to serve.


A380 doesn’t have a future in cargo, let’s make that clear. Sort of some re-engine type thing it’s not economical. Airbus looked at it when the first made the 380, and when I say looked at it I mean went so far as to have customers sign on. FedEx, UPS, and a few more were very interested in the proposed aircraft. But Airbus canceled the project after the found that the aircraft would weight out before it could carry really anywhere near the sort of cargo volume needed to be profitable. I have no reason to believe this has changed. Cargo is definitely one place Boeing crushes. They’re much more diligent about making sure there aircraft have a viable second life, I’d frankly not be surprised if Boeing has a 787F filing cabinet right now. They probably won’t crack it open for a few years yet, but I’m almost certain they have a viable plan for that. If not it would be (someone correct me if I’m wrong here) the first Boeing jetliner to not have a cargo afterlife. The A380 doesn’t have a freight future, simple as that…


Lufthansa Technik is currently working on making an A380 Freighter for one of their (currently) undisclosed customers, so it is possible. Though this may only be one airline, it shows that more can begin converting them, since a lot of cargo needs to be transported these days, and it’ll only increase as time goes by.

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I don’t really know how cargo would work, it would have to be a lot of cargo for it to happen.

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I bet you we could use the thing to transport airplane parts and spaceships. Kind of like the super guppy.


@Mattheus like if Airbus didn’t have Belugas or Boeing didn’t have Dreamlifters

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Well yes, we have the Belugas and Dreamlifters, but what I am saying is that this one can also be used for it. It has a big enough body to carry aircraft parts and four gigantic engines to get the job done.


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