The Airbus A380 is the world’s largest passenger airplane. The first flight of the Airbus A380 took place in France in April 2005, and its first commercial flight was made by Singapore Airlines on 25 October 2007, from Singapore to Australia. Because of the airplane’s enormous wingspan, before it could go into commercial service, some airports needed to undertake renovations to safely accommodate the Airbus A380, particularly during taxiing maneuvers.
The Airbus A380 can carry up to 555 people when seating is arranged in three classes. When the plane is configured for only economy class, the maximum number of passengers increases to 853. The passenger version of the Airbus is designated A380-800, whereas the freight-only version is A380-800F.
The Antonov An-225 is the only freight-carrying airplane larger than the A380-800F. The closest competitor to the Airbus A380-800 is Boeing’s 747-8.
Some of the features of the Airbus A380 are fly-by-wire flight controls which pilots will direct with the use of side sticks, similar to arrangements in modern jet fighter aircraft. Also borrowed from military technology are some of the avionics systems incorporated in the glass cockpit. Cutting-edge navigational systems come standard, including an engine parameter display, and multi-functional displays that will provide the crew with relevant flight management information.
Anticipated A380-800 Specifications:
Maximum speed: 0.89 Mach
Cruise speed: 0.85 Mach
Range: 8,000 nm
Length: 239′ 6″
Wingspan: 261′ 10″
Height: 79′ 1″
Maximum weight: 1,235,000 pounds
Empty weight: 610,200 pounds
Engine(s): Four GP7270 Trent 970 engines
Due to the Airbus A380’s expansive interior, it will be possible to install many luxury amenities and EADS hopes that they will be a big customer drawcard. They may include duty-free shops, beauty salons, bars, and lounges. Some customers, Virgin Atlantic among them, have discussed the possibility of installing showers, sleeping berths, casinos, and workout equipment on board their own Airbus A380s.