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The low sales performance of the quad engine Airbus A380 and declining sales of the Boeing 747-800 have largely been attributed to lesser fuel economy of quad engine aircraft when compared to their newer more fuel efficient twin engine counterparts.

The image rendering of the future Boeing Y3 aircraft shows a jumbo size twin engine twin deck aircraft the size of an Airbus A380.

Whether or not a prototype was ever made, in light of fuel economy technology improvements more prevalent and effective in twin engine configurations like the GE9X, would the twin engine Boeing Y3 be able to compete better than the quad Super jumbos and Jumbo respectively the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747-8?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Firee, abelenky, fooot, ymb1, Gerry Apr 3 '18 at 12:16

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I think you should re-word your question, if not rework it completely. As it stands it calls for opinions and hypothesis, something that here is considered off-topic. $\endgroup$ – Federico Mar 29 '18 at 9:04
  • $\begingroup$ Edited to add the words: The low sales performance of the quad engine Airbus A380 and declining sales of the boeing 747-800 have largely been attributed to lesser fuel economy of quad engine airgcraft whne compared to their newer more fuel effiient twin engine counterparts. $\endgroup$ – securitydude5 Mar 29 '18 at 9:15
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    $\begingroup$ The low sales performance of the A380 has got very little to do with the (specific) fuel consumption of their engines, or the number of engines. It's because it has too many seats, and most airlines can't fill it, and then the cost per seat mile is uncompetitive. Emirates operate it with 615 pax, in comparison the Boeing 777-10X is planned for 450. Not many routes have enough demand to fill such a large plane. See "Airlines are abandoning the world's biggest passenger plane." qz.com/782361/… $\endgroup$ – Penguin Mar 29 '18 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ As said by others, please do not add images that do not help understand the question. And moreover, if you really need to add an image, at least provide the source of said image. $\endgroup$ – Federico Apr 15 '18 at 16:27
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The answer is quite simply, no, at least, not if it is or was intended to compete as an airliner of roughly the same size.

That's because your question is based on a false premise, that the struggles of the A380 in the current market are due to its fuel economy.

The A380 is indeed uneconomic to operate except on few routes, but that is because of its size and capacity - which on most routes, can't be filled.

The market has changed since the A380 was conceived and launched; airlines are using more and smaller aircraft with more connections, between more minor airports.

To a lesser extent, new regulation has made a difference too. It has allowed smaller aircraft with twin engines - which are more flexible in an airline's operations - to take on routes that previously were considered suitable only for four-engined aeroplanes.

The technology and fuel consumption of the A380 are perfectly adequate to serve for decades into the future. It has been overtaken not by technological advances in its rivals, but by forces that change much faster than technology can: market conditions, and regulation.

Aircraft that will be selected instead of the A380 by airlines won't be chosen because they have better fuel economy (and even less so, marginally better fuel economy because they have two engines rather than four) but because they fit market needs better.

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  • $\begingroup$ Regulations should NEVER interfere with the free functioning of markets unless its relaxing previously stringent regulations that were affecting free functioning of markets, because if they do, they are costing the industry billions in losses and billions in lost revenue. That said Decision makers at Airbus should have taken into account that regulations that gave them an unfair advantage before authorising the billions and time spent in the design and manufacture of the Airbus A380 may change and hence prevented losses $\endgroup$ – securitydude5 Mar 29 '18 at 18:21
  • $\begingroup$ thanks for the answer. by the way and may I know which regulations changed and how the affected the Airbus A380? $\endgroup$ – securitydude5 Mar 29 '18 at 18:22
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    $\begingroup$ @securitydude5 Are you serious? What do you imagine the safety record of aviation would be were it not for stringent regulation? But to answer your question in the next comment, the most obvious changes in regulation that affected the A380 would be changes to ETOPS. ETOPS-240 was introduced shortly after the A380's launch; since then twins have been certified for ETOPS-330 and ETOPS-370. The advantages of four engines have steadily diminished. I've no idea what you might mean by "regulations that gave an unfair advantage". $\endgroup$ – Daniele Procida Mar 29 '18 at 18:56

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