Diploma Thesis of
Hajo Libor

Technische Universität München Lehrstuhl für Luftfahrttechnik

Design and marketing of an Ultra High Capacity Aircraft (UHCA)

The fist step to the A380

The thesis was one of the first steps to the final A380. The differences between the final design and the design in the thesis are marginal. The reason is that the initial idea was to limit the design for the thesis to the constrains of the airport infrastructure. For the 3 main constrains I selected: Size less than 80×80 m, turn around time less than 2 hours and to be able to start and land everywhere where a 747 could start and land.

1991 – A340 was launched and 747 was still the largest passenger plane in operation

The Airbus 340 was ready to be launched in 1991. A beautiful airplane. It’s target is long distance spoke to spoke or hub to spoke destinations; but for the hub to hub and high frequented routes the 747 was still the only airplane on the market. The 747 was 1991 for over 20 years the larges commercial airplane on the market. It was not designed due to marketing and research, but because the US Military needed a new transport airplane and financed Boeing the design of the aircraft. The upper deck was not designed to have a nice space for first and business class passages, but the cockpit was located over a possible door to load military equipment to the airplane. 1991 it was time to design an Ultra High Capacity Aircraft dedicated to passenger transport.

How the idea to design an Ultra High Capacity Aircraft was born and how I got the opportunity to write it at Airbus Industries

1991 I had finished my studies in aeronautical and astronautical technology at the Technical University Munich and needed to write my master thesis. My friend and mentor, Ilham Habibie, suggested that I should construct a whole airplane as it would complete the purpose of the studies. If I design an airplane than it should be either the fastest or the biggest for the future market. After some telephone calls I got at Airbus Industries, Toulouse, Dr. Flosdorff, on the telephone who liked my idea of an Ultra Large Capacity Aircraft. He promised me that I will be accepted in a very short time at Airbus to write my Master Thesis “Marketing and Design in the launch phase of an Ultra High Capacity Aircraft” and he send me a written confirmation the same day. With the confirmation I got also accepted at the department of future project at Airbus Industries in Hamburg and the department for Airplane Technology, at the Technical University in Munich, accepted to supervise the master thesis.

The final product

The presentation of Lufthansa: Click here