Factbox: The Airbus A380 double-decker

19 Jan

Here are some key facts on the European airliner.


* The airplane cost 12 billion euros ($17 billion) to develop. Development was delayed by over two years because of industrial problems that caused a rift in Franco-German relations and severely hit parent EADS’s share price in 2006.


* The A380 double-decker is the length of eight buses and has enough room on its wings to park 70 cars.

— Wing span 79.8m (261ft 10in), length 72,75m (238ft 8in). Height 24,08 m (79ft)

* The A380 can seat 525 people in normal three-class layout and up to 853 people in all-economy layout.

* The plane is 15 meters wider, four meters taller, two meters longer and 118 tonnes heavier than the Boeing 747-400, which had reigned as the largest airliner for four decades.

* Cocktail bars, casinos, showers, libraries and sleeping quarters for staff were among features initially touted as a possible use of space, though high fuel prices have encouraged some airlines to buy it as a no-frills jet seating over 800.

* At take-off the A380’s four Rolls-Royce  Engine Alliance engines generate as much thrust as 3,500 cars. Engine Alliance is owned by GE and Pratt & Whitney.

* The A380 is the largest passenger jet and the second biggest plane ever built, topped only by the six-engine Antonov An-225 Mriya cargo plane, of which only two have been built.

* Howard Hughes’s ill-fated Spruce Goose flying boat, which flew once in 1947 and was designed to carry 750 troops, had a wider wingspan to incorporate its eight engines but was shorter than the A380.



January 2012 – WERE Cracks discovered on the wing ribs of several A380s, but Airbus says they pose no threat to safety.

November 2011 – A London-bound Qantas A380 was forced to divert to Dubai after a leak in the pipes surrounding an engine.

Jun1 2011 – A test plane clipped the corner of a building, tearing off the wingtip, on the eve of the Paris air show.

April 2012 – The wing of an Air France A380 collided on the ground with a smaller Bombardier CRJ regional jet, which spun in a quarter turn at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport.

Nov 2010 – A Qantas A380 suffered a mid-air engine blowout shortly after leaving Singapore for Sydney. The plane returned to Singapore and landed safely. The Rolls-Royce engine incident prompted the Australian airline to ground its entire fleet of Airbus superjumbos for nearly a month.


2012 – Airbus says it will deliver at least 30 A380 superjumbos and sell around the same number in 2012 after delivering 26 in 2011, a year in which it met its production target for the first time.

— The aircraft entered service with Singapore Airlines in Dec 2007 followed by Dubai’s Emirates.

— The overall number of A380s sold has risen to 253 from 19 customers as of December 2011 — 68 have been delivered.

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