Airbus A380

The Airbus A380 is the world’s largest passenger twin-body four-engine aircraft, designed to carry more than 500 passengers over long and ultra-long distances.

History

In the early 1990s, to push the Boeing off the podium, Airbus began developing the largest aircraft in its lineup. At first, he had the code name “mega liner.” This model was intended to combat the Jumbo Jet (Boeing 747). During the design process, Airbus engineers left the scheme with a hump in the front of the fuselage, similar to the 747th model, and relied on a full double-decker design of the liner.

At the end of December 2000, Airbus management agreed to launch the program fully. The original code name A3XX was changed to the official name A380. In fairness, I must say that at that time aircraft manufacturers already had 55 firm orders for this aircraft model. Encoding A380 was chosen because the fuselage, divided into two parts by the deck, resembles this figure. Well, the number 8 is considered lucky in some Asian countries, which is also important for the success of aircraft from Asian customers. The design bureau of the concern located in Moscow was involved in the work on this aircraft. In Russia, some parts of the aircraft were produced.

To reduce the weight of the aircraft, composite materials were actively used both in power elements and in secondary units, trim, etc.

Features: The layout of the aircraft is a single-body two-deck low wing with one keel (rudder). Dual-circuit, turbofan engines.

The aircraft used an improved “glass” cabin, i.e. the instruments were displayed on the screens in front of the pilots, and did not represent dials with arrows. Also in the aircraft, as in all aircraft manufactured by Airbus, there is no helm. A “sidestick” side control knob is used for control.

Manufacturing

Due to the gigantic size of the aircraft, production was dispersed across enterprises located in Spain, the UK, France, and Germany. For assembly in Toulouse, the parts were delivered mainly by land and surface vehicles. Painting and retrofitting of the aircraft are carried out in Hamburg. On each side, 3600 liters of paint are spent.

The manufacturer was faced with the problem of wiring. 530 km of electrical wiring is spent on each side.

Due to numerous problems, in June 2005 the first delay of about 6 months was reported. However, a year later, Airbus announced a new schedule disruption. This entailed the resignation of the top management of the company. But on October 3, 2006, the new CEO (Airbus CEO) announced a third delay, appointing the transfer of the first side of the airline in October 2007.

Work on the Airbus A380-800 was to the detriment of the development of the A380-800F (cargo plane, Freightliner) – orders for the A380-800F were canceled.

On February 14, 2019, the Airbus consortium circulated information on the end of production of the A380 airliners from 2021 due to low demand and improper positioning of the aircraft. For example, the aircraft was planned as a large bus for transporting as many passengers as possible, however, the airlines presented the aircraft as a Luxury class plane, that is, as a luxury aircraft.

Cabin layout and location: Often, the first and business classes are located in the bow and on the upper deck. In the rear and on the lower deck are seats of economy class passengers. All seats in A380 salons in any airline are equipped with multimedia screens, entertainment systems.

Advantages and disadvantages of the aircraft: The advantages of the aircraft are its high saturation with composite materials, low fuel consumption per passenger during transportation.

Due to new materials, the use of laser welding of the hull, the aircraft was greatly facilitated. However, the board remained heavy. During vehicle certification, there was great friction between the regulator and the manufacturer. It was believed that taxiways and aprons at airports could be damaged due to the gravity of the aircraft. With great difficulty, the consortium was able to convince the host committee that this was not so. As a result, the aircraft was allowed to operate at those airports that were already certified for the Boeing 747.

Aircraft safety: Until today, none of the A380 aircraft has been lost forever or caused death. Despite several incidents with aircraft engines, which served as the basis for the termination of flight and emergency landing, the liners landed without damage and loss of life. This confirms the quality and reliability of this modification of vehicles.

Modifications

  • Airbus A380-800
    The basic model. The length from the nose to the end of the tail is 73 meters.
  • Airbus A380-800F
    Initially, it announced the collection of orders for the cargo version. The carrying capacity was planned at 150 tons. This would be second only to the An-225 Mriya aircraft, existing in a single copy. However, the production was postponed until the main passenger version was resolved. As a result, the truck was never released.
  • Airbus A380-900
    The A380-900 was not embodied in metal. It was planned at the development stage of the initial model under the A3XX-200 index. If it were released, it would become the longest aircraft in the world – 80 m. With a flight radius of 14,200 km, it would accommodate up to 963 people in a mono class.
  • Airbus A380-1000
    This aircraft was planned even larger than the A380-900. They wanted to increase the capacity of 1073 people as much as possible. The project is not implemented.
  • Airbus A380plus
    The A380 Plus is an advanced Airbus A380 model with lower fuel consumption and cheaper materials.

Operation

Currently, Airbus has 290 orders for the A380, of which 238 were delivered as of the end of June 2020. There are 14 operators in total: Air France, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, British Airways, Emirates, and others

Most of the aircraft of this type use Emirates: 111 delivered from 123 ordered.

The first flight was made on October 25, 2007, from Singapore to Sydney. Throughout the flight, passengers were served champagne. Each was presented with souvenirs.

The A380 holds the third and fourth place among the most distant passenger flights. These are Dubai Auckland Airlines flights Emirates and Sydney Dallas AK Qantas. The length of the flights is 14202 and 13804 km, respectively.

Some airlines have a bar in the first-class cabin. Throughout the flight, you can treat yourself to a cocktail. Food onboard for all classes is prepared by eminent chefs and is a work of art. In general, flying the A380 is not just a regular flight, but an exciting adventure that will be remembered for a long time.

Specifications

  • Length, m – 72.7;
  • Wingspan, m – 79.8;
  • Height, m ​​- 24.1;
  • Wing Area, m2 – 845;
  • Weight:
  • Max. take-off, kg – 560,000;
  • Max. landing, kg – 386,000;
  • Empty weight, kg – 276,800;
  • Max. weight without fuel, kg – 361,000;
  • Max. commercial load, kg – 83,000;
  • The capacity of fuel tanks, l – 310 000;
  • Passenger Salon: Number of seats (one-class option) – up to 853 people; Number of seats (three-class version) – from 400 to 600 people.
  • Cabin width, m – 5.9-6.6.
  • Flight range with max. loading, km – 15,000;
  • Ceiling (max. Flight height), m – 13 100;
  • Takeoff run, m – 2,050;
  • The length of the run, m – 2 900;
  • Engines: R-R Trent 970 – 4 x 31780 kgf; Alliance GP7270 – 4 x 31780 kgf;
  • Cruising speed – 0.85 M.
Graduated from Embry-Riddle Aviation University with a master's degree in aviation science. He began his career as an aviation researcher in local periodicals. Has a pilot license. Now are the author and developer of the Plane Worlds.