A380 near-term refinements include higher MTOW

Hamburg
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Airbus is eyeing an increase in maximum take-off weight for the A380 as part of a series of improvements over 2010-12.

The airframer, which lists the type's current MTOW at 560t, is not disclosing the size of any increase.

But Airbus executive vice-president of programmes Tom Williams, speaking to ATI during a briefing in Hamburg today, said it would be a "small" improvement which operators could trade for increased range or payload.

A380 product marketing head Richard Carcaillet says the airframer is still evaluating the potential improvement and is "not authorised to offer it to the market".

 qantas a380, qantas
 © Qantas

He adds that it would apply to the A380-800 and would not amount to a new variant of the aircraft. There would also be "no empty weight impact".

Other improvements tentatively planned for the A380 during 2010-12, says Williams, include a progressive removal of 2t from the manufacturer empty weight for the type, and new operational functions such as flexible climb.

Earlier enhancements, which are set to be introduced in the fourth quarter of this year, aim to expand on-board diagnostics through built-in test equipment, and bring on board dual head-up displays and functions such as brake-to-vacate.