Airbus A380
Aircraft
Airbus A380
Type
Wide-body airliner
Crew
2
Unit Cost
US$ 319.2 million
Primary User
Singapore Airlines
Status
In production
Click here for all pictures of the Airbus A380 currently available

Airbus A380 Program Milestones
Maiden Flight
April 27, 2005
Introduction
October 25, 2007
First User
Singapore Airlines


Airbus A380 Aircraft Dimensions
Wing Span
261 feet 9,75 inch (79.80 m)
Wing Aspect Ratio
7.5
Length
238 feet 8 inch (72.75 m)
Fuselage Width (Max)
23 feet 5 inch (7.14 m)
Height
79 feet 0 inch (24.08 m)
Tailplane Span
99 feet 8 inch (30.38 m)
Wing Area
9,095.5 sq ft

Airbus A380 Weights

Airbus A380-800
Trent 970
GP 7270
Maximum Taxi Weight
1,238,998 lb
1,238,998 lb
Max Take-off Weight
1,234,588 lb
1,234,588 lb
Max Landing Weight
850,984 lb
850,984 lb
Max Zero Fuel Weight
795,869 lb
795,869 lb
Operating Empty Weight
611,729 lb
612,322 lb
Max Structural Payload
184,138 lb
183,545 lb
Max Cargo (cubic feet)
6,187 cb ft
6,187 cb ft
Usable Fuel
545,648 lb
545,648 lb

Airbus A380-800F
Trent 977
GP 7277
Maximum Taxi Weight
1,305,136 lb
1,305,136 lb
Max Take-off Weight
1,300,727 lb
1,300,727 lb
Max Landing Weight
941,374 lb
941,374 lb
Max Zero Fuel Weight
886,258 lb
886,258 lb
Operating Empty Weight
555,716 lb
556,234 lb
Max Structural Payload
330,540 lb
330,022 lb
Max Cargo (cubic feet)
33,630 cb ft
33,630 cb ft
Usable Fuel
545,648 lb
545,648 lb

An Airbus A380 landing at Manchester airport.
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Singapore Airlines Airbus A380

Airbus A380 Powerplants
A380-861
GP 7270
A380-841
Trent 970/B
A380-842
Trent 972/B
A380-863F
GP 7277
A380-843F
Trent 977/B
Noise levels emitted by the Airbus A380 comply with London Airports' 'Quota Count 2' category for departures which is approximately 3 dB quieter than, or half the noise energy level of, most in-service Boeing 747s.



Airbus A380 Cabin cross section
The picture above displays the A380 cabin cross section, showing a typical economy class configuration.

Airbus A380 Performance
Service Ceiling
42,980 ft (13,100 m)
Maximum Design Speed
Mach 0.89 (630 km/h)
Econ Cruising Mach No.
Mach 0.85
Runway ACN
Approximately 68
Range (A380-800)
8,000 nm (14,816 km)
Range (A380-800F)
5,600 nm (10,371 km)

Airbus A380 General Information
The Airbus A380 is a high-capacity airliner capable of transporting more passengers and cargo than any other commercial airliner ever before. Engineering work for the A380 began in early June 1994, at which the aircraft was still designated as the A3XX. On December 8, 1999, the Airbus Industry Supervisory Board authorised programme go-ahead with commercial launch authorisation received nearly half a year later on June 23, 2000. Industrial launch of the type and official A380 designation was confirmed on December 19, 2000, after a total of 50 aircraft were ordered.

Emirates Airbus A380
Business Class Bar Inside the Airbus A380
Airbus A380 flying in formation with fighter jets.
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The test programme called for a total of 2,200 flying hours over a period of 15 months using four prototypes; the first to explore the flight envelope, the second to verify performance, the third for technical and commercial adaptations and the fourth for route proving. Static testing was carried out at Toulouse from mid-2002 and fatigue testing at Dresden from November 2005. The aircraft flew for the first time on April 27, 2005, from Toulouse, France, with its first commercial flight following nearly 2,5 years later, on October 25, 2007, carrying a Singapore Airlines A380 from Singapore to Sydney.


Airbus A380 Design
One of the most interesting details of the A380 is the fact that the aircraft has a fuselage which is a vertically orientated oval three-deck arrangement that can accomodate 10 passengers abreast on the main deck and eight-abreast on the upper deck, offering greater space per passenger than the Boeing 747-400. Seating ranges from a nominal 555 in a typical three-class layout to 840 in a high-density configuration. The lower deck of the A380 can accomodate shops, bars, restaurants and/or a range of cargo containers / pallets, a feature not many airlines will utilize once in commercial operation.

Flight Controls

The Airbus A380 has single-slotted flaps that incorporate a droop-nose device in order to improve climb performance. The wings are fitted with two ailerons and two actuators, plus eight spoilers with individual actuators. The elevators have two panels and actuators on each side, just like the rudder has. In order to keep wake vortex at a minimum, flaps, ailerons and engines have been specifically positioned.

Business Class photograph of an Emirates Airbus A380
Economy class cabin shot of an Emirates Airbus A380
Airbus A380 photograph showing all doors open.
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Click for a large image
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Structure

The A380 incorporates a high degree of composite usage, especially for all flaps and spoilers, rear pressure bulkhead, centre wing box, all tail surfaces, tailcone aft of the fin leading-edge intersection with the fuselage, and engine cowlings. New 'Glare' material, consisting of alternate layers of aluminium and glass fibre-reinforced adhesive offering significant weight reduction and able to resist fatigue and damage, is used for the upper fuselage shell. Furthermore, laser beam welding is used to attach stringers to the lower fuselage panels and at the same time reduces weight and costs.

Accomodation

The A380 has a flight deck crew of two with crew rest areas provided for additional crew in the flight deck area. The aircraft has five main deck and three upper deck emergency exits on each side of the fuselage; all equipped with Goodrich evacuation slides. Typical seat pitches are as follows and might differ from those implemented by airlines; first class 68 inch, business class 48 inch and economy class 32 - 33 inch.

Systems

The aircraft has an integrated modular avionics (IMA) system which is provided by Thales Avionics in conjunction with Diehl Avionik Systeme using computing modules slotted into cabinets throughout the aircraft. Rockwell Collins supplies Ethernet avionics communications infrastructure at 100 Mbit/s speed with full duplex networking. Cameras are fitted on top of the fin and underneath the fuselage in order to facilitate taxiing on challenging taxiways. The aircraft's fuel management systems are provided by Parker Aerospace including in-tank sensors and wiring, avionics and software to fit into the IMA system. The flight controls are powered by two hydraulic and two electrical systems, each of the latter using at least two different systems in case of failure of any one, making each system fully independant. The wing-mounted landing gear is powered by the green system while the underfuselage main gear runs on the yellow hydraulic system. Power is generated with 180 kVA generators for each engine to be provided by Hamilton Sundstrand, which has also been selected to provide the aircraft's APU.

Avionics

The A380 has a Honeywell flight management system, with Thales/Diehl Displays. Dual Thales Head-Up-Displays are optional. The cockpit layout will be compatible with other Airbus family members and are fitted with eight next-generation 6 x 8 icnh LCD screens, forming the centre of the package. The onboard information system will integrate databases with operator's in-house software packages and enable flight planning and documentation updates while en-route. The onboard maintenance system (OMS) provides real-time information to the ground crew.

Engines

The Airbus A380 is offered with a choice of Alliance (joint venture between General Electric & Pratt & Whitney) GP7200 or Rolls-Royce Trent 900 series. The Trent 900 is a derivative of the Trent 800, while the GP7000 has roots from the GE90 and PW4000. The Trent 900 core is a scaled version of the Trent 500, but incorporates the swept fan technology of the stillborn Trent 8104. The GP7200 has a GE90-derived core and PW4090-derived fan and low-pressure turbo-machinery. When powering the A380 only two of the four engines are fitted with thrust reversers.

Passenger Provisions

Compared to the Boeing 747, the Airbus A380 produces approximately 50% less cabin noise and has a higher cabin air pressure (equivalent to an altitude of 5000 feet). Both features are expected to reduce the effects of travel fatigue. The upper and lower decks are connected by two stairways, one fore and one aft in the cabin, and are wide enough to accomodate two passengers side-by-side. The A380 may carry a maximum amount of passengers of 853 in an all-economy-class configuration. In a typical three-class-configuration, the A380 carries a maximum amount of 555 passengers, 33% more than a Boeing 747-400.

Compared to the 747, the A380 has larger windows and overhead bins. The wider cabin allows for 19 inch wide economy seats instead of the regular 17 inch seats on comparable aircraft like the 747.

With the introduction of the A380, Airbus' initial publicity stressed the comfort and space of the A380's cabin, anticipating installations such as relaxation areas, bars, duty-free shops, and beauty salons. Although some interest showed some interest in these features it is not expected that any will actually implement these kind of features.

Airbus A380 Typical Seating Configurations