63 Facts About Airbus A380


Airbus A380 is a large wide-body airliner that was developed and produced by Airbus.

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Airbus A380 studies started in 1988, and the project was announced in 1990 to challenge the dominance of the Boeing 747 in the long-haul market.

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In mid-1988, Airbus A380 engineers led by Jean Roeder began work in secret on the development of an ultra-high-capacity airliner, both to complete its own range of products and to break the dominance that Boeing had enjoyed in this market segment since the early 1970s with its 747.

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Airbus A380 organised four teams of designers, one from each of its partners to propose new technologies for its future aircraft designs.

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In January 1993, Boeing and several companies in the Airbus A380 consortium started a joint feasibility study of a Very Large Commercial Transport, aiming to form a partnership to share the limited market.

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In June 1994, Airbus A380 announced its plan to develop its own very large airliner, designated as A3XX.

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Airbus A380 considered several designs, including an unusual side-by-side combination of two fuselages from its A340, the largest Airbus A380 jet at the time.

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Airbus A380 did so in line with traditional hub-and-spoke theory, as opposed to the point-to-point theory with the Boeing 777, after conducting an extensive market analysis with over 200 focus groups.

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In 2006, Airbus A380 stopped publishing its reported cost after reaching costs of €10.

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In February 2018, after an Emirates order secured production of the unprofitable programme for ten years, Airbus A380 revised its deal with the three loan-giving governments to save $1.

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On 15 May 2018, in its EU appeal ruling, a WTO ruling concluded that the A380 received improper subsidies through $9 billion of launch aids, but Airbus acknowledges that the threat posed to Boeing by the A380 is so marginal with 330 orders since its 2000 launch that any U S sanctions should be minimal, as previous rulings showed Boeing's exposure could be as little as $377 million.

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Major structural sections of the Airbus A380 are built in France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

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Airbus A380 components are provided by suppliers from around the world; the four largest contributors, by value, are Rolls-Royce, Safran, United Technologies and General Electric.

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The first Airbus A380, registered F-WWOW, was unveiled in Toulouse 18 January 2005.

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In 2006, the Airbus A380 flew its first high-altitude test at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.

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Three days later, the Airbus A380 received European Aviation Safety Agency and United States Federal Aviation Administration approval to carry up to 853 passengers.

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Airbus A380 cited as underlying causes the complexity of the cabin wiring, its concurrent design and production, the high degree of customisation for each airline, and failures of configuration management and change control.

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File conversion tools were initially developed by Airbus A380 to help solve this problem, however the digital mock-up was still unable to read the full technical design data.

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The communication and reporting culture at the time frowned upon delivery of bad news, meaning Airbus A380 was unable to take early actions to mitigate technical and production issues.

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Airbus A380 announced the first delay in June 2005 and notified airlines that deliveries would be delayed by six months.

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On 13 June 2006, Airbus A380 announced a second delay, with the delivery schedule slipping an additional six to seven months.

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Airbus A380 suspended work on the freighter version, but said it remained on offer, albeit without a service entry date.

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On 13 May 2008, Airbus A380 announced reduced deliveries for the years 2008 and 2009 .

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In 2010 Airbus delivered 18 of the expected 20 A380s, due to Rolls-Royce engine availability problems.

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Airbus A380 delivered 26 units, thus outdoing its predicted output for the first time.

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Emirates was the second airline to receive the Airbus A380 and commenced service between Dubai and New York in August 2008.

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Furthermore, in February 2008, the Airbus A380 became the first airliner to fly using synthetic liquid fuel.

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In 2010, Airbus announced a new A380 build standard, incorporating a strengthened airframe structure and a 1.

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Airbus A380 said the problem was traced to stress and material used for the fittings.

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Airbus A380 has switched to a different type of aluminium alloy so aircraft delivered from 2014 onwards should not have this problem.

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Airbus A380 stated that safety was sufficient, as the air pressure pushed the door into the frame.

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At the July 2016 Farnborough Airshow Airbus announced that in a "prudent, proactive step, " starting in 2018 it expected to deliver 12 A380 aircraft per year, down from 27 deliveries in 2015.

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Airbus A380 was profitable at a rate of 15 per year and is trying to drive breakeven down further but will take losses at eight per year.

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Airbus A380 would have needed more than $90 million profit from the sale of each aircraft to cover the estimated $25 billion development cost of the programme.

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However, the $445 million price tag of each aircraft was not sufficient to even cover the production cost, so with Airbus losing money on each A380, and with orders evaporating, it made economic sense to shut down production.

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One reason that the A380 did not achieve commercial viability for Airbus has been attributed to its extremely large capacity being optimised for a hub-and-spoke system, which was projected by Airbus to be thriving when the programme was conceived.

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The massive scale of the Airbus A380 design was able to achieve a very low cost for passenger seat-distance, but efficiency within the hub-and-spoke paradigm was not able to overcome the efficiency of fewer flights required in the point-to-point system.

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Specifically, US based carriers had been using a multihub strategy, which only justified the need for a handful of VLAs such as the Airbus A380, and having too few VLAs meant that they could not achieve economy of scale to spread out the enormous fixed cost of the VLA support infrastructure.

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On 17 March 2021, the final Airbus A380 made its maiden flight from Toulouse to Hamburg for cabin outfitting, before being delivered to Emirates on 16 December 2021.

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Airbus A380 is offered with the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 or the Engine Alliance GP7000 turbofan engines.

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In 2012, the Airbus A380 received an award from the Noise Abatement Society.

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The wings of the Airbus A380 were designed in Filton and manufactured in Broughton in the United Kingdom.

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The Airbus A380 is the first commercial airliner to have a central wing box made of carbon–fibre reinforced plastic.

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Airbus A380 employs an integrated modular avionics architecture, first used in advanced military aircraft, such as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, and Dassault Rafale.

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Airbus A380 used similar cockpit layout, procedures and handling characteristics to other Airbus A380 aircraft, reducing crew training costs.

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The Airbus A380 has an improved glass cockpit, using fly-by-wire flight controls linked to side-sticks.

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The MFDs were introduced on the Airbus A380 to provide an easy-to-use interface to the flight management system—replacing three multifunction control and display units.

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The Airbus A380 uses aluminium power cables instead of copper for weight reduction.

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Airbus A380 has acknowledged that some cabin proposals were unlikely to be installed, and that it was ultimately the airlines' decision how to configure the interior.

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Airbus A380 is reacting to a changing economy; the recession which began in 2008 saw a drop in market percentage of first class and business seats to six percent and an increase in budget economy travellers.

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Airbus designed the A380 according to these guidelines, and to operate safely on Group V runways and taxiways with a 60 metres loadbearing width.

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Airbus A380 requires service vehicles with lifts capable of reaching the upper deck, as well as tractors capable of handling the Airbus A380's maximum ramp weight.

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Many of the innovations developed on the Emirates A380 cabin were a first for Airbus, such as the first class showers, lighting scenarios and the recent premium economy cabin.

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In 2012, Airbus A380 clarified that the aircraft production costs would be less than its sales price.

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Airbus responded to the protests by playing down the possibility the A380 would be abandoned, instead emphasising that enhancing the aeroplane was a likelier scenario.

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The Airbus A380 was designed with large wing and tail surfaces to accommodate a planned stretch; this resulted in a high empty weight per seat.

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Amedeo, mainly an Airbus A380 lessor and the largest with 22, mostly leased to Emirates, wants to find a use for them after their lease expires from 2022, and study if there is a demand to wet lease them.

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In 2013, in expectation of raising the number of orders placed, Airbus announced "attractable discounts" to airlines who placed large orders for the A380.

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In late July 2014, Airbus announced that it had terminated five A380 firm orders from the Japanese low-cost carrier, Skymark Airlines, citing concerns over the airline's financial performance.

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The real backlog is much smaller than the official 107 with 47 uncertain orders: 20 commitments for the Airbus A380-specialized lessor Amedeo which commits to production only once aircraft are placed, eight for Qantas which wants to keep its fleet at 12, six for Virgin Atlantic which does not want them any more and three ex Transaero for finance vehicle Air Accord.

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Emirates does not need the small front staircase and eleven-abreast economy of the A380plus concept, but wants Airbus to commit to continue production for at least 10 years.

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On 18 January 2018, Airbus secured a preliminary agreement from Emirates for up to 36 A380s, to be delivered from 2020, valued at $16 billion at list prices.

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In early 2019, Airbus confirmed it was in discussions with Emirates over its A380 contract.

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