First A380 (registration F-WWDD ) in Airbus factory livery
|Type:||four-engined wide - body aircraft|
April 27, 2005
October 25, 2007
|Number of pieces:||
263 (as of February 5, 2020);
The low-wing aircraft with a capacity of up to 853 passengers, the largest in volume production produced civilian airliner in the history of aviation . It has a range of max. 15,200 km and a cruising speed of around 940 km / h (0.87 Mach ), max. 961 km / h (0.89 Mach).
The final assembly takes place in Toulouse and the cabin equipment in Hamburg-Finkenwerder . The first flight of this long-haul aircraft was completed on April 27, 2005 with an A380-841, and 331 aircraft had been ordered by March 10, 2018. On February 13, 2019, the company announced that it would phase out production in 2021 after Emirates announced it would reduce the order by 39 to 123 pieces.
The development of the Airbus A380 goes back to the 1980s, when the first feasibility studies were carried out on a large aircraft for both passengers and cargo air traffic . In the second half of the 1990s, a market situation arose which, from Airbus' point of view, allowed the plans to be implemented. This assessment resulted on the one hand from the growing demand for wide-body aircraft and on the other from the decision by Airbus competitor Boeing not to invest any money in research and development for new versions of its Boeing 747 . When the first 50 purchase intentions were available in 2000 , Airbus began construction in 2001. During the conception phase, the aircraft was referred to as the Airbus A3XX .
The development of the aircraft required both an increase in the possible number of passengers and a reduction in the specific operating costs per person and kilometer. The A380 should be able to operate at 15 percent lower costs than other modern passenger aircraft of the 1990s. The development goals could only be achieved through extensive use of novel materials, such as fiber-reinforced plastic and sandwich constructions , to save weight. The outer fuselage skin, for example, only consists of aluminum on the underside . The upper two thirds are made of glass fiber reinforced aluminum .
The dimensions of the aircraft do not exceed the 80 × 80-meter box, which means that it can move on existing taxiways and also use the handling infrastructure of the terminals . In order to optimize passenger handling, however, the existing facilities are often expanded in such a way that boarding and disembarking can take place in parallel across both decks. The aim is to achieve turnaround times comparable to those for single-story wide-body aircraft.
First public presentation (rollout)
The first prototype built for flight testing with the serial number (MSN) 001 was in final production from October 2004 to January 2005. Finally, on January 18, 2005, the A380 was unveiled to the assembled press. The heads of state and government of the Airbus main cooperation countries, Jacques Chirac , Gerhard Schröder , Tony Blair and José Luis Zapatero were present at the ceremony , which was televised live .
Structural loading tests
From September 1, 2005 to June 16, 2012 (originally planned until 2008), the largest structure was built in a specially built test hall next to the grounds of Dresden Airport on a non-airworthy model with the serial number ( MSN ) 5001, which was specially built for structural load tests - Fatigue test carried out on a civil aircraft. 60,800 flights (flight cycles) were simulated by IABG and IMA . This corresponds to an operating time of around 80 years, 3.2 times the aircraft life of the A380. In the life cycle tests on the Airbus A380, IABG used a newly developed method of test control, with which the test speed could be increased significantly. This enabled reliable statements to be made about the service life of the airframe at an early stage. After successfully passing 5,000 simulated flights, the first aircraft could be delivered to a customer.
On February 16, 2006, during a bending test of another airframe in Toulouse, a wing of the A380 tore down after exceeding 1.45 times the maximum load between the engines. However, 1.5 times the maximum load is required for the approval of a new aircraft type. Airbus solved the problem with additional strips on the longitudinal frames, which mean an additional weight of 30 kg.
The first A380 flight, which had to be postponed several times due to technical problems, took place on April 27, 2005 in front of thousands of spectators. The machine with the serial number ( MSN ) 001 started with a take-off weight of 421 tons, the highest take-off weight of a civil airliner to date. The first flight took 3:54 hours. The exact date was dependent on the weather, since a south-westerly wind towards Toulouse would have had to start, which they wanted to avoid for safety reasons. After the successful take-off from Toulouse-Blagnac airport at 10:29 a.m. on runway 32L, the A380 ( aircraft registration F-WWOW) circled near Toulouse during the first test phase with its landing gear extended. During the entire flight he was accompanied by another aircraft in order to observe the flight behavior from the outside and record it with video cameras. After a test phase of around half an hour, the undercarriage was retracted and the flight tests continued, however not, as originally planned, over the Atlantic , but over the mainland parallel to the northern edge of the Pyrenees . At 2:23 p.m. MSN 001 (F-WWOW) landed again on runway 32L. During the entire flight test, test data was transmitted by telemetry via a satellite directly from the A380 to the Airbus test center in Toulouse.
The first flight was carried out by a crew of six from the test flight squadron stationed in Toulouse. Flight captain Claude Lelaie, executive director of the aircraft division, and chief test pilot Captain Jacques Rosay shared command during the first flight. Fernando Alonso , director of the flight tests department , was the test engineer in charge of flight controls and the aircraft structure. In addition, Jacky Joye (systems), Manfred Birnfeld (engines) and Gérard Desbois (flight engineer, “third man” in the cockpit) were on board the aircraft as test flight engineers. As is customary on first flights, the crew carried parachutes.
The aircraft with serial number 009 and registration F-WWEA completed its maiden flight with the GP7200 engines on August 24, 2006.
Wake vortex tests
In July and August 2006, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen carried out wake vortex tests on behalf of Airbus . The A380 flew over 30 times alternately with a Boeing 747-400 over the special airport Oberpfaffenhofen at altitudes between 80 and 400 m.
The wake vortices behind both aircraft were measured from the ground using a LIDAR . Since the behavior of the wake vortices on the Boeing 747-400 is known, comparisons could be made. The results of these tests are used for safety in air traffic, as they can be used to determine the minimum distance between subsequent aircraft approaching.
According to DLR, the wake vortices of the A380 correspond to those of a Boeing 747-400 in terms of their horizontal extent. There are therefore no new restrictions when cruising and in holding patterns. During take-off and landing, however, the wake turbulence of the A380 is more pronounced, which requires an increase in the required minimum spacing for the separation of the following aircraft by two to four NM (approx. 3.7 to 7.4 km) compared to the applicable ICAO distance .
The ICAO Noise Data Base specifies a noise level for the A380 which corresponds to the average of the similarly large aircraft of the same generation:
- Start / Lateral 94.2 EPNdB
- Approach 98 EPNdB
- Overflight 96 EPNdB
Long-range test flights
From September 4th to 8th, 2006, the first test flights with passengers on board, the so-called Early Long Flights or ELF for short, were carried out . The cabin of the aircraft was equipped with 474 seats. In contrast to regular cabin operation (555 seats in three classes), the business class service was offered on all seats on these test flights . The flight tickets for the test flights were raffled among the approximately 50,000 Airbus employees worldwide. The aim of the ELF was to test the comfort on board as well as the proper functioning of the air conditioning , galley, toilets and entertainment electronics under real operating conditions. That is why the 474 passengers included experts on the above-mentioned systems in order to analyze any problems that might arise on site. The cabin crew was provided by Lufthansa , who was able to gain experience in operational cabin operations.
In November 2006, the A380 started a series of test flights, which were supposed to prove the aircraft's long-range and airport suitability. The first destination on November 12, 2006 was Düsseldorf Airport , which has been planned as Lufthansa’s alternative airport for Frankfurt since 2009. Other destinations were Singapore , Kuala Lumpur , Beijing , Shanghai , Hong Kong , Tokyo , Sydney , Johannesburg and Vancouver .
On March 17, 2007, the A380 (MSN 007) landed in Frankfurt for a series of different tests. Long-haul flights with 483 loaded passengers were flown for the first time under real conditions. New York (March 19, 2007), Hong Kong (March 23, 2007) and Washington (March 25, 2007) (from Frankfurt) and Los Angeles (from Toulouse) were selected as destinations . Ground handling was tested during the standstill in Frankfurt. The return flight via Munich to Toulouse was on March 28, 2007.
According to international regulations, an aircraft must be able to be evacuated completely within 90 seconds through half of the available doors and in the dark . Due to the size of the A380, this was a particular challenge. In addition to the time component, various scenarios also played a role. The evacuation slides must also work if the aircraft lands without landing gear or, for example, only the nose landing gear fails. The latter causes a particularly large difference in height between the floor and the rear exits.
The intensively prepared evacuation test in front of representatives of the licensing authorities took place on March 26, 2006 in hall 212 of the Airbus plant in Hamburg-Finkenwerder and was successful. Within 78 seconds, 853 passengers and 20 crew members managed to exit the aircraft exclusively via the emergency exits on the right-hand side. Taking into account the time it took to open the doors and fill the slides (around 10 to 15 seconds), two people jumped onto one of the double-lane emergency slides every 1.2 seconds on average. In order to simulate a realistic situation, various objects such as newspapers, blankets and pillows were lying around in the cabin and only the weak emergency lighting was available as a light source. During the evacuation, a test candidate broke his leg and another 32 suffered minor injuries, mostly skin abrasions. These incidents did not affect the approval process; they are quite common in evacuation tests.
Completion of the admissions program
On November 30, 2006, the A380 successfully completed the certification program with a final flight from Vancouver via the North Pole to Toulouse . On December 12, 2006, the passenger version of the A380 with engines from the Trent 900 series - the first passenger aircraft to be approved for civil use - received a combined official type certificate from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) . On April 23, 2007, the A380 received type approval from EASA for operation with engines from the Engine Alliance GP7200 series. This type of engine had already been certified for the A380 by the FAA in December 2005. At that time, the GP7200 engine had completed more than 111 flights and 1,348 flight hours. In July 2007, the FAA and EASA announced their approval of the A380 for operation on runways that are only 45 meters wide. Until then, approval had only been granted for railways with a width of 60 meters or more.
List of test aircraft
|MSN 1||Reg||First flight||Type||Engines||Current operator||Equipment
|001||F-WWOW||April 27, 2005||A380-841||Rolls Royce||airbus||full flight testing equipment||Remains permanently with Airbus as a test aircraft.|
|002||F-WXXL||3.11.2005||no cabin equipment||Will be given to the Aeroscopia Museum in Toulouse over the next two years.|
|004||F-WWDD||10/18/2005||Engine Alliance previously Rolls-Royce||airbus||full flight testing equipment||Airbus donates this A380 to the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace exhibition in Le Bourget near Paris, which, with an area of around 255,000 square meters, is one of the largest in the world. On February 14, 2017, the superjumbo was transferred to the museum. There, the A380, which was once used as a test machine, is being refurbished to demonstrate the daily operations to visitors.|
|February 19, 2006||A380-841 3||Emirates||full cabin equipment||Was used for route proving flights and was still wired according to the older "WAVE-1" standard; was converted to a customer machine and handed over to Emirates on December 12, 2009.|
|8/25/2006||A380-861 4||reduced flight testing equipment||First machine with Engine Alliance GP7270 engines; was still used for tests until spring 2008 and still wired according to the older "WAVE-1" standard; was converted to a customer machine and handed over to Emirates on June 4, 2010.|
|5000||-||-||A380-800 2||-||airbus||Test cell for static test
(primary structure only)
|First fully assembled cell in Toulouse; Plane was destroyed in a stress test in Toulouse on June 27, 2007|
|5001||-||-||A380-800 2||-||Test cell for dynamic test (primary structure only)||Simulation of 3.2 aircraft life through structural strength test (“Essay Fatigue”) in Dresden;
After the end of the test, the cell was dismantled into sub-segments as planned, these are stored at various locations in Germany, France, Great Britain and Spain for later inspections and analyzes.
On October 29, 2005, Frankfurt Airport was the first airport outside Toulouse to carry out handling tests. On November 8, 2005, the Airbus plant in Hamburg-Finkenwerder was approached for the first time by the second test aircraft MSN 002. In 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2018 one A380 each visited the International Aerospace Exhibition Berlin . The first visit to Munich Franz Josef Strauss Airport took place on March 28, 2007.
The first delivery of the passenger version was originally planned for June 2006 to Singapore Airlines . Due to production problems, the schedule was delayed several times, so that the first delivery could not take place until October 15, 2007. In the event of such delays, the airlines contractually have the option to demand contractual penalties from Airbus, which they did. In the case of the Airbus A380, this happened through compensation payments and discounted sales of other aircraft models, in particular the Airbus A330 , or reorders of the A380.
The A380F freighter version was due to follow in early 2009. However, the delays in development resulted in a cancellation by the customer FedEx and a conversion of the Emirates order into passenger planes. This left only ten A380F orders from US cargo airline UPS Airlines in the order books, which is why Airbus announced on March 1, 2007 that it would suspend development and production of the A380F until further notice due to a lack of “short-term prospects”. The aim is to initially concentrate on the passenger variant, even if the long-term assumption is that the freighter program will be resumed. The cargo version will remain an active part of the A380 family, which will continue to be advertised to customers. However, this variant has not been advertised on the Group's website since 2015.
Airbus announced on June 13, 2006 that A380 deliveries, apart from the first delivery, would have to be postponed by six to eight months due to problems with the cabin electronics. These problems were partly due to the inconsistent IT development environment: Some locations used the current version of the CAD program CATIA , which, however, is not downwardly compatible with the previous version . For this reason, the data exchange must be converted manually. According to the new schedule, only nine A380s should have been delivered in 2007 (compared to the planned 20 to 25), in 2008 only 26 to 30 (planned: 35) and in 2009 only 40 (planned: 45) A380s.
On September 1, 2006, the Realisierungsgesellschaft (ReGe) Hamburg , commissioned with the construction of the runway extension, announced that the runway would be completed and handed over to Airbus about two months earlier than originally planned. This scheduling could be met by handing over the runway extension to Airbus on July 16, 2007. This created the conditions for the construction and operation of the planned delivery center for customers from the Middle East and Europe on the factory premises in Finkenwerder. The new EADS board of directors occasionally thought about handling the entire delivery in Toulouse. At a press conference on February 28, 2007, however, it was announced that the planned delivery from Hamburg should remain with minor reductions.
On October 3, 2006, the Airbus parent company EADS announced that the delivery of the first machines would be delayed by an average of another year. According to the French Airbus headquarters, the reason for the breakdowns lies in the Hamburg Airbus plant. A design program used there produced cables that were too short and not suitable. The problem was discovered in the summer, and the tried and tested program from the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse is now being used in Germany. According to Hamburg reports, the Finkenwerder plant delivered segments with cables that were too short, but these cables were based on plans drawn up in Toulouse. In June 2006, when a new delivery schedule was last announced, the effort required was underestimated and, after a detailed examination, the conclusion had now been reached to postpone the delivery again and to make far-reaching changes to the management structures, which ultimately led to the delivery problems.
On October 15, 2007 the first machine (MSN 003) was handed over to Singapore Airlines . It was put into service on October 25, 2007 on the Singapore - Sydney route and belongs to the Dr. Peters Group . In 2007 only this one A380 was handed over to a customer. From December 2018 to November 2019, this A380 was dismantled at Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenées Airport for re-use of the individual parts.
In 2008, contrary to various speculations, Airbus was able to deliver twelve machines as planned; in 2009 it was originally supposed to be 21. Due to the lower demand due to the economic crisis , production was reduced to 14 aircraft. In the best of times, 45 aircraft a year had been planned.
According to Airbus, no customers have dropped out of the passenger version despite the multiple delays. Emirates announced immediately after the last delay became known that they would “examine all options”, but in the meantime even ordered more machines. The then CEO of Lufthansa , Jürgen Weber , signed the first order for Airbus in 2001.In October 2009, the already partially painted A380 flew with the construction number 038, which was officially handed over to Lufthansa on May 19, 2010 and since then the registration D-AIMA as well as the name Frankfurt am Main , for the interior to Hamburg-Finkenwerder. Virgin Atlantic Airways announced in October 2006 that it would postpone its order for four years and that it would not receive the first A380 until 2013. The airline wants to convince itself of the commercial success of the aircraft with other operators before it goes into service. Overall, the delay in deliveries compared to the original plan now amounts to 22 months.
These delays have plunged Airbus into a serious crisis . Compared to earlier estimates, the Airbus result between 2006 and 2010 was burdened by an additional 2.8 billion euros (a total of 4.8 billion euros).
The MSN 011 was handed over to the second customer Emirates on July 28th, 2008 as the first A380 in the delivery center in Hamburg . On September 19th, 2008 the first machine (MSN 014) was delivered to the third operator Qantas .
In February 2009, the quality debate about the A380 was rekindled by executives of the airline Emirates when they showed photos of partially torn fairing panels, defective parts on the engines and still scorched power cables in an A380 at a crisis meeting. Emirates accuses Airbus that the frequent defects lead to breakdowns and significant unplanned downtime of the aircraft.
In September 2009 the airline Singapore Airlines drew a positive balance from the integration of the first ten A380s into its fleet. The high economic success was particularly praised. The aircraft has proven to be reliable and, above all, profitable over the past two years. Ease of maintenance was also praised.
On June 8, 2010, Emirates ordered a further 32 aircraft and will have a total of 90 A380s in 2017.
Structural adjustments at airports (in continental Europe)
- In principle, every airfield should be certified in accordance with Annex 14 Code F (span 65 to 80 m). However, the ICAO allows exceptions for Code 4E airfields.
- In April 2004 , Munich was the first European airport to receive official approval for traffic with A380 aircraft. Several larger parking positions are integrated into the second terminal, which opened in 2003. In 2011, as part of the launch of the Emirates A380 scheduled flights to Munich, position 113 at Terminal 1 was equipped with three passenger boarding bridges. The newly built satellite of Terminal 2, which opened in April 2016, provides another five A380 positions at the airport.
- Terminal 2 in Frankfurt (construction started in 1990, opening in 1994) was dimensioned for the so-called 80 × 80-meter box, so it is prepared for the A380. The additional passenger boarding bridges required for rapid handling have so far been installed at at least five gates of Terminal 2. In Terminal 1, which is mainly used by Lufthansa, gates in departure areas B and C have also been designed so that the A380 can be handled there. Three passenger boarding bridges at each of these gates allow simultaneous boarding on both levels. As part of the airport expansion, another four positions were added in October 2012 at the new Pier A-Plus, which now represent the focus of A380 handling. In January 2008 the first part of the Lufthansa A380 yard was completed.
- Also at Zurich Airport in newly created between 1999 and 2004 Dock Midfield / Dock E two pitches were firmly scheduled for the A380. In the meantime, one gate has already been converted with a two-storey passenger boarding bridge.
- At Pulkowo Airport near Saint Petersburg , a runway was converted in the summer of 2006. It is the first runway in Russia that is approved for the A380.
- The Berlin Brandenburg airport will be capable A380 from opening. However, planning changes had to be made during construction.
- At Hamburg Airport , the green strips next to both runways were fixed with synthetic resin; Although no scheduled flights were planned from Hamburg, the airport is an alternate point for the Airbus factory airport in Hamburg-Finkenwerder . With the renovation of the apron, passenger boarding bridges for the A380 were added from 2017, making Hamburg Airport A380-compatible. On October 29, 2018, the first A380 landed in scheduled flight operations in Hamburg.
- The Leipzig / Halle Airport is also A380 suitable for initial commissioning of the southern runway 08R / 26L on July 5 of 2007.
- The runway of the Hamburg-Finkenwerder airfield was extended by 589 m for the construction of the cargo version (which had been stopped for the time being).
- The Dusseldorf airport advanced at the head of the Terminal C Gate C2 with three passenger boarding bridges for the A380 and widened the taxiway 95 meters. In addition, the waiting area at the gate was increased to 225 seats.
Use in the liner service
In March 2013, the hundredth A380 was delivered to Malaysia Airlines . In mid-February 2014, Airbus announced that 55 million passengers have been transported on 151,000 flights since it began using the scheduled service. By the beginning of December 2014, 147 aircraft in service at that time had completed a total of 1,700,000 flight hours and carried around 75 million passengers.
End of production
In February 2019, Airbus announced that production of the A380 would be discontinued by 2021. The reason for this is a reduction in an order from the main customer Emirates from 162 to 123 aircraft, which was offset in return by ordering several smaller Airbus models. Thomas Enders , Airbus CEO at the time , stated that as a result of this "there was no longer any significant A380 order backlog for continuation of production - despite all our sales efforts in recent years to win additional airlines as customers." that a total of 17 A380s would be produced in the next two years, 14 for Emirates and three for All Nippon Airways . This would bring the number of machines sold to a total of 251, less than a quarter of the originally targeted number of 1,200 machines.
The decision to end production was not unexpected, as the A380 had been a concern for the group for some time. For many airlines, the large aircraft no longer seemed economical even on very long journeys, as it has two more engines than smaller Airbus models and, due to its high weight, has increased kerosene consumption. Another reason for the declining sales figures is the low distribution of the hub and spoke system targeted by Airbus in air traffic . Passengers should be transported with wide-bodied aircraft such as the A380 between heavily frequented routes and brought to their final destination with smaller machines. Instead, the so-called point-to-point system has increasingly become the standard in the industry, with medium-sized aircraft flying to more destinations directly, which means fewer transfers for passengers. As a result, production was cut back from up to 30 A380s per year to just six.
Financing the development
The A380 program was in deficit for Airbus for a long time. A good third of the development costs of 12 billion euros were financed from tax money. It has long been an open question whether the expenses made by Airbus alone can be recovered. Over the years, Airbus itself has given different information about reaching break- even and later named 2015 instead of the originally mentioned number of 230. At the annual press conference on January 12, 2016, Airbus announced that it had broken even in 2015.
One obstacle to profitable production resulted from the variety of interior fittings offered. In 2017, a looming end of production after slightly more than 300 aircraft for Airbus was seen as a damage to the image rather than a catastrophe due to the low economic weight of the type line . With the bridging of the production gap emerging from 2019 (due to the additional order of 20 Emirates aircraft after two years without orders) there is hope for orders from Chinese companies.
Profitability for the operator
The A380 demonstrates its superiority in terms of costs per passenger, especially when used in the hub . Where the principle prevails of handling many passengers via a central airport, which is expanded to the highest possible number of passengers with as many delivery flights as possible, high capacities, such as those made available by the A380, are particularly useful. Conversely, the main competitor Boeing in particular has often announced that it is expected that turnstile concepts will decrease in importance due to increased point-to-point connections. In the case of direct flights, the number of passengers would generally be lower than in the hub concept, so that large capacities of an individual aircraft could also be overcapacities and thus change from an advantage to a disadvantage. In fact, it cannot be determined that the turnstile concept is running out.
The A380 shows the highest profitability when a large number of passengers flies directly (point-to-point). The airports served must be appropriately equipped for this. The shorter the route, the more important it is to have fast handling, which, among other things, requires simultaneous boarding and disembarking on both levels for the A380.
|year||Price in millions of dollars||source|
|May 2008||317.2–337.5 (average: 327.4)|
The Hansa Treuhand Sky Cloud Airbus A380 fund specifies the purchase price for an Airbus A380 of EUR 149.2 million or US $ 210 million. The aircraft was delivered to Singapore Airlines in 2009.
The leasing company Hannover Leasing states that the purchase price for an Airbus A380, which has also been delivered to Singapore Airlines, is 180 million US dollars. The purchase price is around 30 million US dollars less than that of the competition, as Singapore Airlines takes care of the interior fittings and the seating itself.
unique selling point
The Airbus A380 has a unique selling point due to its maximum number of passengers, i. H. there is no comparable aircraft. Only in the 1990s did several manufacturers already pursue similar plans: For example, McDonnell Douglas planned the MD-12 in the early 1990s, a wide-body aircraft with over 500 seats and two continuous passenger decks. Boeing first planned the 600- to 800-seat Boeing NLA with two continuous passenger decks and then various further developments of the Boeing 747 and, after the failure of the same, presented the concept of the fast Sonic Cruiser , which has now also been canceled. Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher "Do not disturb your opponent when he makes mistakes," commented 2001, the Airbus decision with the words (based on a Winged word , Napoleon attributed). The Russian aircraft manufacturer Ilyushin also planned a comparable model with the Ilyushin Il-96-550 , which, however, would have consisted of a double fuselage . Suchoi also planned a comparable model with the KR-860 , which however never got beyond the project phase. All of these projects failed. At the moment, however, the relatively small long-haul aircraft Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 are creating noticeable competition. These aircraft are optimized for use in direct air traffic instead of the hub concept and still offer comparatively low operating costs. With the Boeing 747-8 , Boeing also developed a quieter, more economical and slightly enlarged jumbo jet, which was first delivered on February 28, 2012. However, this is smaller than the Airbus A380.
Construction and technology
The Airbus A380 is a four-jet low-wing aircraft with a fuselage with a highly oval cross-section, on which the rear-swept wings and a tail unit are mounted in a conventional design. The main distinguishing feature from other civil aircraft are the two rows of windows that are mounted on top of each other and run over the entire length of the fuselage. The base model of the A380 family is the A380-800, to which the following sections also refer.
In order to increase the passenger capacity while maintaining the same length, the A380 was given two continuous passenger decks. In order to reduce the air resistance and to be able to accommodate a large cabin on the upper deck, in contrast to the Boeing 747, it was not fitted with an upper deck above the front fuselage, but an elliptical fuselage cross-section 7.15 m wide and 8.40 m high over the entire length.
The aircraft fuselage thus has three continuous decks. They are called the upper, main and lower deck. The upper deck can accommodate up to eight passengers per row of seats, while the main deck can accommodate up to ten passengers per row. These two levels are connected by two stairs and two transport elevators for food. The lower deck is primarily intended for cargo, but sleeping quarters for the crew, toilets, restaurants or bars can also be set up here. In the normal configuration, there is space for up to 38 LD3 freight containers on the lower deck. All three decks are part of the pressurized cabin . The fuselage consists largely of the aluminum alloys aluminum-lithium , aluminum-copper and aluminum-zinc. The outer skin consists of a glass fiber reinforced metal laminate (glare) on the top . The longitudinal stiffeners ( stringers ) of the lower fuselage area ( bilge ) are joined using a laser welding process. The rear pressure bulkhead, the stern cone and the cross members of the upper deck are made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic . The wing box is for the first time in a civil aircraft also made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. In order to save weight, unlike originally planned, the electrical cables are made of aluminum instead of copper .
As the board member of the Airbus Future Program, Christian Scherer, announced on November 21, 2006, the aircraft manufacturer has successfully completed the necessary weight reductions on the A380. Nevertheless, a conceptual excess weight of 5.5 tons remained compared to the planning, which, however, at 1.5% of the empty weight is within the agreed tolerance.
Cockpit and avionics
The cockpit is located between the main and upper deck. Access is via the main deck through a bullet-proof and impact-proof door. It is designed for a maximum of five people. For the first time on Airbus aircraft, there is also an onboard maintenance terminal in the cockpit , which completes the paperless cockpit. At this terminal, the maintenance staff has access to the logbooks, maintenance manuals, system parameters and diagnostic systems. The paperless cockpit also includes the Onboard Information Terminal (OIT). For example, interactive navigation maps, weather maps and checklists are displayed there. In addition, there is access to the avionics compartment in the cockpit , which represents the control center of the aircraft and contains various computers and components.
The avionics are mainly based on the Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) architecture , which Airbus is using for the first time in the A380. The avionics functions for air conditioning, bleed air, cockpit data communication and board-to-ground data routing, electrical power supply, fuel management, chassis, brakes and steering are on a total of eight different types of IMA computers (in redundant double or quadruple design) integrated. The IMA computers, also called CPIOM (Core Processing Input / Output Module), are based on identical PowerPC processors, but they differ in the specific signal interfaces for the systems integrated on the modules.
The IMA computers are connected to one another via the AFDX network (Avionics Full DupleX Switched Ethernet), which is designed with double redundancy, each with eight central switches. Additional input-output modules (IOM) are used to integrate systems and sensors without their own AFDX interface into the AFDX network.
Most of the IMA computers for the A380 are developed and supplied by the French Thales Group in cooperation with the German Diehl Aerospace . For some cockpit functions, Airbus develops the IMA computers itself.
The central cabin management system consists of three central computers and several data networks that are laid laterally in the cabin. The most important tasks of the cabin management system, which is also called Cabin Intercommunication Data System (CIDS) by Airbus , are the communication of the cabin crew with each other and with the cockpit, announcements to the passengers (passenger address), control of the (colored) Light in the cabin as well as the signals for non-smoking and fasting seat belts. In addition, the CIDS controls and monitors numerous other cabin systems.
The networks of the CIDS are divided into the “Topline”, “Middleline” and the so-called “Panel Network”. The passenger-related devices such as the “Passenger Supply Unit” (PSU) with loudspeakers, no-smoking or seat belt displays and the call buttons of the passengers as well as the control devices for the cabin light are activated via the “Topline”, which runs above the “Hatracks” connected to the central computer. The devices required by the crew, such as on-board telephones and various devices for signaling the cabin crew, are connected via the “middle line”. The panel network connects all operator terminals of the CIDS. The operator terminals work similarly to tablet PCs with a touch-sensitive graphic surface. The control terminals ("Flight Attendant Panels") are mostly located in the (entrance) door areas.
At 25% depth, the wings have a sweep of 33 ° 30 'and, to reduce the induced air resistance, have 2.30 m high composite wingtip fences at their ends. In 2017, Airbus presented the A380plus version, which, among other things, enables fuel savings of up to 4% through a modified shape of the winglets and is expected to be available from 2020.
The ribs are made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. As a buoyancy aid , six slats are used on the outside of the leading edge of the surface and tilt noses in the two inner areas . The buoyancy aids are driven by combinations of electric and hydraulic motors. The drive shafts are made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. At the rear edge there are single slotted flaps with a total area of 120 m² in three areas. The high-lift system is operated and monitored by a redundant computer.
The three ailerons on each side are operated by two drives, these are also lowered parallel to the landing flaps to increase lift. There are also eight spoilers on each side, each with its own drive. The wings are essentially made of aluminum alloys.
In January 2012, during the repair of a Qantas A380 damaged by an engine failure, a few small cracks were discovered in the ribs of a wing. Then other machines were examined and similar cracks were found in three aircraft. According to Airbus, however, these do not pose a problem for flight safety.
The rudder unit is made entirely of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. The rudder is made in two parts. The necessary large area of the rudder would cause high forces in the lateral deflection and thus make stronger and heavier rudder fittings necessary. So the rudder was split up to reduce the stress. However, the two halves are moved simultaneously so that it looks like a single large oar. Each of the two control surfaces is driven by two hydraulic actuators.
Like the rudder unit and the tail section, the horizontal stabilizer is also made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. It has the area of the entire wing of an Airbus A320 . It has a total of four elevators, each operated by two hydraulic actuators. There is also a fuel tank in the horizontal stabilizer, which is individually and automatically filled on the ground and emptied in flight to optimize the center of gravity. This trim tank can be filled with 18.6 t of kerosene.
The A380-800 is equipped with four engines that are mounted on pylons under the wings. The customer can choose between engines from the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 or Engine Alliance GP7200 series. Rolls-Royce offers the Trent 970 with 311 kN (70,000 lb f ) thrust and the Trent 972 with 320 kN (72,000 lb f ) thrust for the A380 . A380s equipped in this way receive the sub-version -x41 for the Trent 970 and -x42 for the Trent 972. For future heavier variants such as the A380F and A380-900, the even stronger variants Trent 977 with 340 kN (77,000 lb f ) Thrust (sub-version -x43) and Trent 980 with 356 kN (80,000 lb f ) thrust are available. An A380-800 with Trent 970 engines would therefore be given the version designation A380-841, with Trent 972 it would be A380-842.
Engine Alliance currently only offers the GP7270 with 311 kN (70,000 lb f ) thrust (sub-version -x61) and for planned heavier versions of the A380 the GP7277 with 343 kN (77,000 lb f ) thrust (sub-version -x63), an A380- 800 with GP7270 engines is given the version designation A380-861. Both engine types offer static thrust at sea level and a standard atmosphere from 311 kN and are therefore the largest and most powerful engines that have ever been developed for a four-engine passenger aircraft. The fan diameter is 2.95 meters, the engines suck in 1.55 tons (more than 1000 m³) of air per second.
A special feature is that only the engines at the inner wing positions have reverse thrust . The outer engines of the Boeing-747 -compatible, usually 45 m wide runways are already above the so-called shoulders , which consist of paved areas of grass next to the runway. When using the thrust reverser, foreign bodies would be whirled up, which could lead to damage to the runway, the engines and other aircraft parts. Another reason is the weight savings that could be achieved as a result. In addition, the thrust reverser is operated electrically for the first time and not hydraulically or pneumatically as is usual. Both engines use the same FADEC system from Hamilton Sundstrand for control and regulation .
One innovation in the civil aviation sector is the Airbus Cockpit Universal Thrust Emulator System ( ACUTE for short ). Engine parameters such as the shaft speed of the "fan" (N1) or the EPR pressure ratio between inlet and outlet pressure (Engine Pressure Ratio) are no longer used for thrust display in the cockpit , but a percentage from 0% to 100%. This guarantees a commonality in the cockpit between the different engine types, since with previous aircraft types the thrust display in the cockpit was always dependent on the engine type. The percentage is calculated by the FADEC and is made up of a large number of parameters such as pressure altitude, outside temperature, engine speed, pressure difference (EPR).
Display of the ACUTE in the cockpit:
- Display range 0% to 100% positive thrust or THR idlerev to THR maxrev with activated thrust reversal. The display of the thrust reversal is not given in percent, but dimensionless and is only shown visually as a semicircle.
- 100% THR (engl. Thrust , German thrust ) correspond to the maximum available thrust (TOGA = Take Off / Go Around) in the current flight phase, when switched bleed air .
- 0% THR corresponds to a deactivated engine (in windmilling , i.e. the engine only rotates due to the wind current in flight).
The ACUTE system is the primary indication for the determination of shear, all other parameters such as N1 , N2 and N3 (Rolls-Royce engines) will only be as secondary parameters in the ECAM ( Electronic Centralized Monitoring Aircraft , dt. Central electronic aircraft Monitoring ) is displayed.
Auxiliary power unit
The auxiliary power unit (APU) of the A380 comes from Pratt & Whitney Canada and Hamilton Sundstrand , with P&W producing the turbine and HS being responsible for the system integration. It is located in the stern of the fuselage, the so-called tail cone. It is used to provide electricity (2 × 115 V at 400 Hz with 120 kVA each ) for all hydraulic and electrical systems when the main engines are switched off. It also supplies bleed air that is used to supply the air conditioning systems (possible up to 22,500 ft altitude) and to start the main engines. If the airport has a stationary system for power transmission, the aircraft can also be connected to this. At around 1.30 MW, the auxiliary power unit is the most powerful auxiliary gas turbine for aircraft to date and achieves 20% more power than the next smallest. Of the total power requirement of all on-board systems of 1.20 MW, around 900 kW are used to provide the pneumatic energy alone.
Ram air turbine
In the event of a total power failure, a ram-air turbine with a diameter of 1.625 meters (64 inches ) is available for emergency power generation. This makes it the largest ram air turbine on the market to date. The manufacturer is Hamilton Sundstrand . Its propeller drives an air-cooled generator that provides 70 kW of power as emergency power. The assembly sits under the left wing, to the right of the inner engine (Fixed Flap Track Fairing # 2).
The Airbus A380 has two air conditioning systems ( packs ), each containing two so-called Air Generation Units (AGUs). The advantage of the design of the AGUs is that they are very compact. The power of the pack is around 450 kW and causes an air flow into the cabin of 2.5 to 2.7 kg / s. The ram air supply is 6.5 kg / s. At full power, the cabin air is completely replaced by fresh air approximately every three minutes.
In contrast to conventional commercial aircraft, the A380 only has two hydraulic circuits. The otherwise common third hydraulic circuit was replaced by local electro-hydraulic actuators . However, these are only used if one or both hydraulic systems have failed. This saves weight as there is no need for lines and valves that would otherwise be routed through the entire aircraft. The reduction in the cross-section of the hydraulic lines brings further significant weight savings. To do this, Airbus has increased the system pressure from the usual 207 bar to around 345 bar. The individual hydraulic circuits are divided into colors for better differentiation. The first hydraulic circuit is designated as GREEN (green), the second as YELLOW (yellow), with both having the same priority.
Engines 1 and 2 each supply the green circuit with two hydraulic pumps. The yellow circuit is supplied accordingly by the engines 3 and 4. The hydraulic pumps are designed as axial piston pumps . In addition, each hydraulic circuit has two electrically operated pumps that take over the supply when the engines are switched off. This is required, for example, to open and close the cargo hold doors, when towing the aircraft to control the fuselage steering or for maintenance work and checks on the ground when the engines are not in operation.
Hydro-electric fail-safe system
This redundant system ("backup system") was newly developed for the A380 and has not been used on any other commercial aircraft. The hydraulic energy is generated locally. In the case of the flight control actuators, a hydraulic reservoir and an electrically operated pump are located directly on them. In the case of the braking and steering system, there are also local hydraulic circuits that take over the operation of the systems in the event of a failure, independently of the main circuits green and yellow. The A380 uses two types:
- Flight control: Electrical-Hydrostatic Actuators (EHAs) and Electrical Backup Hydraulic Actuators (EBHAs)
- Braking system and chassis steering : Local Electro-Hydraulic Generation System (LEHGS )
EHAs / EBHAs
EHAs are hydraulic actuators that are additionally equipped with their own hydraulic circuit with a brushless DC motor, hydraulic pump and low-pressure accumulator. During the operation of the aircraft, EHAs are completely autonomous from the hydraulic circuits of the aircraft and only have one filling line for the internal fluid reservoir. Only electrical energy is required to supply the EHAs. Complex power electronics drive the fixed displacement pump with speed control, which is directly connected to the hydraulic cylinder. The hydraulic cylinder is positioned without a servo valve directly via the hydraulic oil delivered by the pump and is, as a first approximation, proportional to the number of revolutions of the pump. A change of direction is realized by reversing the pump.
EBHAs go one step further. These are combined hydraulic actuators, which means that EBHAs, just like EHAs, have an autonomous hydraulic supply supplied by their own power electronics, but are fed by the corresponding hydraulic circuit in the aircraft during normal operation. Only in an emergency do they automatically encapsulate themselves and then function as EHAs. The EBHA thus represents the combination of a classic actuator with servo valve with an EHA.
EHAs and EBHAs only apply to flight control. With these devices the A380 can be operated purely electrically, i. H. can be controlled if both hydraulic systems fail.
LEHGS is a separate hydraulic circuit that works independently in an emergency. This includes delivery lines, valves, accumulators, pumps and reservoirs. This system is used in the area of the chassis.
The fuel system is used to store the fuel, monitors the amount of fuel in each tank and controls and controls the fuel transfer between the individual tanks. In addition to the fuel supply for the engines, it can be used to control the aircraft's center of gravity and influence the load on the aircraft structure. The system controls filling and defuelling automatically. In an emergency, up to 150 tons of kerosene can be discharged per hour.
The fuel tanks are designed as integral tanks and are therefore part of the supporting structure. The outer , feed , mid and inner tanks are integrated in the wings and the trim tank in the horizontal stabilizer. The transfer tanks are only intended for storing fuel. The fuel it contains is automatically pumped to the respective feed tanks. Like the transfer tanks, the trim tank is also used for fuel storage, but the center of gravity can also be automatically influenced during the entire flight profile through controlled emptying of the tank. The feed tanks deliver fuel to the engines and are supplied with fuel by the transfer tanks. Each feed tank has a separate compartment with a capacity of 1000 kg, the so-called collector cell , which prevents the fuel pumps from running dry.
1 and 4
2 and 3
|10,520 l (8,260 kg)||27,960 l each (21,950 kg)||38,460 l (28,620 kg)||46,140 l (36,220 kg)||29,340 l (23,030 kg) each||23,700 l (18,600 kg)||328,540 l (254,760 kg)|
The specified masses (in kilograms) relate to a fuel density of 0.785 kg / l, the numbering of the feed tanks runs from left to right.
The landing gear consists of a nose landing gear, two fuselage landing gear and two wing landing gear. It also contains the braking system and the steering system as well as a system for monitoring tire pressure, brake temperature and pressure of the shock absorbers. Originally there were 38 alternatives in various configurations. Airbus decided on the current arrangement with so-called "longitudinal bays" (fuselage and wing landing gear are housed in a landing gear shaft). In addition, operation on a 45 m wide runway and 23 m wide taxiways as well as a 180 ° turn on a 60 m wide runway had to be enabled. The landing gear has a total of 22 wheels. Of this, two wheels are on the nose landing gear with a diameter of 1.20 m and a width of 0.50 m, twelve wheels on the fuselage landing gear and eight wheels on the wing landing gear. These each have a diameter of 1.40 m and a width of about 0.50 m. By redesigning the tires for the A380, Michelin Aircraft Tires was able to achieve a total weight saving of 360 kg for the tires only. Each tire can be loaded with up to 33 t and 378 km / h. The nose landing gear can be deflected up to ± 70 ° with the hydraulic system and up to ± 60 ° when towing. The mechanical stop is ± 75 °. With asymmetrical thrust and differential braking, a turning circle of 107.52 m can be achieved. The materials used in the nose landing gear are mainly high-strength steel, aluminum and a small amount of titanium. The main landing gear consists mostly of titanium, followed by high-strength steel and a small part of aluminum.
The hydraulic supply of the landing gear is provided by the green hydraulic circuit for the wing landing gear and the nose landing gear, the yellow one for the fuselage landing gear. LEHGS are provided as a backup for the steering on the nose landing gear and the brakes on the main landing gear. All eight wheels on the wing landing gear are braked, as are the two front pairs of wheels on the fuselage landing gear with a total of eight tires. The brake system therefore comprises a total of 16 hydraulically actuated brake packages made of carbon ( CFC ), which are mounted on the respective main or fuselage landing gear . The braking system has a separate emergency hydraulic circuit for emergencies with its own reservoir, control unit and electric hydraulic pump. Each wheel has a sensor for monitoring tire pressure and each brake package has a sensor for temperature monitoring. Sensors for monitoring the nitrogen pressure are also integrated in each shock absorber. Optional cooling fans can also be installed in the wheel hub. In the case of short cycle times, these serve to cool the brake packages. There are four modes for applying the brakes, which are activated automatically depending on the situation. These are:
- Normal: Normal braking force is applied via the corresponding hydraulic circuits. Control via the rudder pedals
- Alternate: Normal braking force is applied via the corresponding hydraulic accumulators and a separately installed electrical hydraulic circuit. Control via the rudder pedals
- Emergency: Reduced braking force is applied via the corresponding hydraulic accumulators (number of brake actuations limited) or a separately installed electrical hydraulic circuit. Control via the rudder pedals
- Ultimate: Reduced braking force is applied via the corresponding hydraulic accumulators (number of brake actuations limited). Control via parking brake lever
Manufacturing and logistics
As with the other Airbus models, the production of the subcomponents is spread across the various European Airbus locations. The wings , fuselage section 18 as well as the bow section 13 and part of section 15 from Hamburg-Finkenwerder ( D ), the cockpit section 11 from Nantes ( F ), the center fuselage section 15 from Saint-Nazaire ( F ), come from Broughton ( GB ) Vertical stabilizer from Stade (D), the horizontal stabilizer from Getafe ( E ), the flight control from Toulouse (F). In Bremen (D) and Nordenham (D), among others glare of the outer skin also still the final assembly of the three flaps per wing made silo equipment, in Bremen. They consist of two materials, the inner landing flap made of aluminum, the other two made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic ; The latter will be built in Stade. These components are brought from the sites to Toulouse by heavy haulage or transport aircraft , and in the case of oversizes also by ship. Then there are the engines that are not produced by Airbus itself. The escape slides are also produced in the USA . The final assembly of these components takes place in Toulouse.
After the aircraft has been transferred to Hamburg-Finkenwerder (D), the outer skin and the interior of the cabin will be painted with components from Diehl Aircabin from Laupheim (D), from the Airbus site in Buxtehude (D) and parts from other manufacturers.
Two locations are planned for the handover of the A380 to customers: For customers in Europe and the Middle East , the delivery takes place in Hamburg-Finkenwerder, for the other customers in Toulouse.
Of all the planned versions of the A380, only the passenger version beginning with the number 8 has been implemented to date; all others are merely planning phases. On the hundreds digit following tens and encode engine equipment and in the paragraph engines explained in more detail.
All planned versions would probably have had the same wings with a wingspan of 79.8 m.
For the Paris Air Show 2017, Airbus had announced a model overhaul under the title A380plus. This should be equipped with newly developed winglets with a height of 4.7 m, of which 3.5 m above the wing and 1.2 m below it. These new winglets replace the wingtip fences that were installed up until then and increase the aircraft's fuel efficiency by 4%. Further optimizations resulted in a higher maximum take-off weight of 578 t instead of 569 t. This allowed the operators to choose between increasing the range by 300 NM to 8500 NM (approx. 15,740 km) or additional seats for a further 80 passengers.
The A380-700 (working title: A3XX-50R) would be a version of the A380-800 shortened to 67.9 meters with a maximum range of around 16,200 km for 481 passengers in three classes. It is just a concept that is very questionable if the A380-700 has higher seat costs than the Boeing 747-8, which also operates in this segment, and orders for airlines would therefore be uneconomical. So far there has been no airline interested in this version.
The A380-800 is the basic version, according to plans from 2000 it should have 555 seats in three classes. In 2007, Airbus changed the seat capacity to 525, then to 558 in 2013.
The first flight took place on April 27, 2005. With a maximum take-off weight of 560 tons, the aircraft is now approved for up to 853 passengers and 20 crew members; the maximum range is 15,000 kilometers, the service ceiling 13,100 meters. First customers were Emirates , Singapore Airlines , Qantas , Air France and Lufthansa .
From autumn 2009, the A380-800 was equipped with improved electronic protective measures against rolling over the runway end and for better collision protection in the air. A Brake to Vacate (controlled braking up to a rolling speed of ten knots at the selected destination), ROW / ROP (runway roll-over warning and protection with automatic calculation of the braking distance depending on the weather conditions) and APTCAS (automatic collision warning and evasive maneuver system networked with the autopilot ) retrofitted.
The A380-800R variant (initially A3XX-100R) never got beyond the project phase. The aircraft would have had additional tanks in the hold, a reinforced structure and therefore an increased take-off weight. The aim would have been to increase the range to 16,200 kilometers.
The A380F would be a cargo variant of the A380-800 whose development has been postponed indefinitely. The aim was to be able to transport up to 157.4 tons of freight and twelve passengers with a range of 10,400 kilometers. The cargo flight variant had been ordered briefly by ILFC , Emirates , FedEx and UPS Airlines , but they either canceled their order entirely or converted it into orders for the passenger variant.
The A380-900, formerly also known as the Airbus A3XX-200, was only in the project stage and would have been a stretched version of the A380-800 with a length of just under 80 meters. The variant would have required a reinforced structure and therefore had a higher take-off weight of around 590 t. That would have required more powerful engines and enabled a range of around 14,200 km. The maximum passenger capacity would be 963 people, the typical capacity in the three-class layout would be around 656 people. In 2008, only the airlines Emirates , Air France and Lufthansa expressed interest in this variant . The development of the aircraft was therefore never started.
At the 2015 Paris Air Show , John Leahy discussed a more moderately stretched version with around half the seat increase to around 650 seats in the basic version. This draft has not yet been pursued any further.
Size of the market
On the part of Airbus, a total of 1300 orders in the segment above 400 seats were calculated by around 2030, of which at least 50% would have been received. In contrast, Boeing, whose Boeing 747, known as the “Jumbo Jet” , was replaced as the world's largest passenger aircraft after 36 years of monopoly , saw a significantly lower demand in this size category.
In the forecast from the year 2000, Airbus assumed a demand for 1235 aircraft in this segment, staggered with 360 aircraft by 2009 and 875 by 2019. Other data from that period even estimated sales of the next two decades at 1,700 orders for Airbus and 700 for Boeing, including the cargo versions.
In 2007, too, the demand for 1283 aircraft in the segment was overestimated over the next 20 years; it was even assumed that the congestion at the large airports would increase and sales would rise to 1771 aircraft. Most sales were expected in the Asia-Pacific region (56%) and including 415 freight versions with more than 120 tons of capacity. In the same year, Boeing estimated the market with a total of 590 passenger aircraft (B747 or A380) and 630 cargo aircraft to be somewhat smaller.
Ultimately, all estimates turned out to be too optimistic. Airbus failed to sell half of the targeted number by 2018. A threatened production cessation was averted in January 2018 with a major order from Emirates for 20 firm orders and 16 options. Airbus boss Tom Enders believed that production of the A380 by 2025 was secured.
Up to July 2018, 331 orders had been placed for the A380; this number includes all machines that have already been delivered. The difference between orders and deliveries results in the number of open orders. Because of what became known in the autumn of 2006 production problems in the initial phase and the associated revenue losses and penalty payments to customers, the A380 would only from about 420 aircraft sold, the profit achieved. Originally, it was assumed that this goal would be achieved after just 250 units.
After the delivery problems became known, there were cancellations for the cargo version, while the passenger version was initially ordered by Singapore Airlines , Air France-KLM , Qantas , Lufthansa and Emirates .
Qantas initially ordered 20 Airbus A380s, twelve of which had been delivered by the end of 2011. Due to a sharp drop in profits at the beginning of 2012, Qantas postponed the remaining eight deliveries by initially six years in April 2012 and finally announced in August 2016 that Qantas would no longer buy another A380. In February 2019, Qantas finally canceled the remaining 8 orders.
Airbus won its first new A380 customer in around two years in September 2007 when British Airways announced that it wanted to acquire twelve of these. All machines were delivered by June 22, 2016.
On November 13, 2007, Airbus announced at the Dubai Air Show that Prince Al-Walid ibn Talal was the first private customer to buy an A380. The VIP variant ordered by him is called A380 Flying Palace (Flying Palace) . After disputes about financing and unsuccessful interim sales, the purchase was canceled by Airbus.
In May 2008, EADS had to admit that it would only be able to make twelve instead of the originally planned 13 deliveries later in the year. In 2009 only 21 instead of 25 machines were to be handed over to customers. Major customers such as Emirates and Etihad Airways were informed that there could be delays of 2.5 to 3 months in the delivery of the aircraft they ordered. These announcements made the stock market upset. The reason for the renewed delivery delay was the difficult transition to full series production.
On January 15, 2009, Airbus published the letter of intent and on November 17, 2009, the actual order from French Air Austral for two A380s in pure economy seating with 840 seats. Air Austral would have been the first airline to use the A380 in near-maximum configuration, but the order was canceled in April 2016.
In May 2009, the delivery volume was reduced again, this time due to customer requests resulting from the economic crisis. In 2009 only ten and in 2010 only 18 machines were delivered.
Emirates announced on June 8, 2010 that it had ordered a further 32 aircraft, increasing the existing order to a total of 90 Airbus A380-800s.
On January 6, 2011, the South Korean Asiana Airlines signed a purchase agreement for six A380s.
In July 2014, the Japanese airline Skymark canceled a purchase contract for four Airbus A380s from 2011 after the assembly of the first aircraft had already been completed and it had completed its maiden flight.
On September 29, 2011, the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Lufthansa approved a conversion of two of the five options to the previous ten firm appointments.
On November 15, 2011, Qatar Airways ordered five more A380s (firm) as part of the 2011 Dubai Air Show and also concluded an option for three more aircraft.
On March 14, 2013, Airbus announced the delivery of the hundredth A380. The machine was delivered to Malaysia Airlines , which received its sixth and final A380.
Also on March 14, 2013, Deutsche Lufthansa announced a major order to Airbus. In addition to 100 A320s, two more A380s were also ordered. At the beginning of October 2013, the remaining three options were also given up. This resulted in only 14 firm orders for Lufthansa.
On November 17, 2013, Emirates and Airbus announced an order for 50 more A380s at the 2013 Dubai Airshow.
On February 12, 2014, Airbus announced the firm order from the leasing company Amedeo (formerly Doric ) for 20 A380s.
On October 2, 2015, Transaero Airlines filed for bankruptcy; the company had ordered four A380s, one of which was already partially completed. One order was taken from Skymark for an unknown customer, the other three machines in this order, whose orders were still listed as open in the Airbus books at the end of July 2018, was taken over by an aircraft leasing company called Air Accord from Bermuda , about which little is known. In the country known as a tax haven , some airlines have always registered their machines in order to save import duties for machines manufactured abroad. The insolvent Transaero operated a large part of its fleet with Bermudian license plates. At Aeroflot , which took over operational control of the company after the bankruptcy of Transaero , all Airbus and Boeing machines in operation are registered in Bermuda in order to avoid the high import taxes.
On January 28, 2016, Iran Air and Airbus announced an order for twelve A380-800s. Because of the Iran sanctions, the deal was first postponed and finally canceled. Instead, more A350 aircraft were ordered.
On January 29, 2016, All Nippon Airways and Airbus announced a firm order for three A380-800s.
With the publication of the order book on March 31, 2016, Airbus announced that Air Austral would not accept the two aircraft that had been ordered; instead, the two machines had been sold to an unnamed buyer.
In April 2016, Airbus announced that it would reduce the annual production of the A380 from 24 to 18 from 2017, in July of the same year it was announced that from 2018 annual production would be reduced to just twelve aircraft and in 2017 Airbus decided to only start in 2019 build eight aircraft per year.
In November 2017, Emirates canceled a major order that had been announced during the air show in Dubai.
In January 2018, Airbus announced that there had been no new orders since January 2016. However, it will be negotiated again with Emirates about acceptance, the success of which will decisively determine the production or the future of the A380. On January 18, 2018, it was announced that Emirates had ordered 20 new aircraft and granted an option for 16 more, thus securing the A380 program for another ten years.
Qatar Airways announced at the end of February 2018 that after the delivery of the tenth A380 in April 2018, it did not want to redeem an option for three more aircraft.
In early March 2018, Virgin Atlantic Airways canceled the order for six aircraft after delivery dates had been postponed several times - most recently in 2018.
On February 13, 2019, Airbus announced that it would cease production after Emirates announced it would reduce the order by 39 to 123 pieces.
On March 13, 2019, Lufthansa announced that it would sell six of its fourteen A380s to Airbus in 2022 and 2023 as part of an A350 order.
In November 2019, Singapore Airlines, the A380's first customer, retired two aircraft after only ten years of operation. Since no buyer could be found for the machines, they began to be scrapped and the spare parts sold.
In May 2020 Air France-KLM announced that it would cease operations of its A380 fleet due to the Corona crisis. The retirement was originally planned for 2022. Air France-KLM has a total of nine A380 jets in its fleet, some of which are owned by the airline, others are leased, according to a statement.
Table of firm orders and deliveries
Only firm orders officially recorded in Airbus' order books as of January 2017 are listed. Declarations of intent are not taken into account. Information on first delivery dates, engine types and class configurations refer to planespotters.net .
configuration overall (F / B / Premium Eco / Eco)
(formerly Transaero Airlines )
(3, 3 of which canceled)
|-||-||former GP7270||formerly 652 (12/24 / - / 616)|
|Air France||10||10||October 30, 2009||GP7270||516 (9/80/38/389)|
|All Nippon Airways||3||2||20th March 2019||Trent 900||520 (8/56/73/383)|
(20, of which 20 canceled)
|-||-||-||formerly 573 (12/66 / - / 495)|
|Asiana Airlines||6th||6th||May 29, 2014||Trent 970||495 (12/66 / - / 417)|
|British Airways||12||12||4th July 2013||Trent 970||469 (14/97/55/303)|
|China Southern Airlines||5||5||October 14, 2011||Trent 970||506 (8/70 / - / 428)|
(162, 39 of which canceled)
|115||July 28, 2008||GP7270
|489 (14/76 / - / 399)
517 (14/76 / - / 427)
615 (- / 58 / - / 557)
|Etihad Airways||10||10||December 16, 2014||GP7270||498 (11/70 / - / 417)|
(formerly Hong Kong Airlines )
(10, of which 10 canceled)
|Korean Air||10||10||May 31, 2011||GP7270||407 (12/94 / - / 301)|
|Lufthansa||14th||14th||May 19, 2010||Trent 970||509 (8/78/52/371)
|Malaysia Airlines||6th||6th||May 29, 2012||Trent 970||494 (8/66 / - / 420)|
(20, 8 of which canceled)
|12||September 19, 2008||Trent 972||484 (14/64/35/371)|
|Qatar Airways||10||10||16th September 2014||GP7270||517 (8/48 / - / 461)|
|Singapore Airlines||24||24||October 15, 2007||Trent 970||471 (12/60 / - / 399)
409 (12/86 / - / 311)
|Thai Airways||6th||6th||September 27, 2012||Trent 970||507 (12/60 / - / 435)|
Pictures of the Airbus A380 in the typical livery of the respective airline in the chronological order of the first deliveries.
After Singapore Airlines took its first five A380s out of service in 2017 and 2018, the brokerage of these aircraft is proving to be extremely difficult - there are hardly any lessees to be found, so that two of the five aircraft were scrapped after only ten years of operation. The first machine to be dismantled from December 2018 to November 2019 was the MSN003, which was parked at Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenées Airport and which was also the first scheduled machine to be delivered, for further use of the individual parts.
So far only one used Airbus A380 has found a buyer:
|country||operator||Aviation registration||Operating period||Year of construction /
configuration overall (F / B / Premium Eco / Eco)
|Malta||Hi Fly Malta||9H-MIP||since August 1, 2018||2006/2008||Singapore Airlines||Trent 970||471 (12/60 / - / 399)
||Operated on wet lease for Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia , Norwegian and Air Austral|
Incidents and Problems
Since the start of the scheduled service in 2007 to March 2014, more than 151,000 flights were completed without incidents that resulted in fatalities, serious injuries or total losses. In addition to a few minor problems with the newly introduced aircraft type, on November 4, 2010, the A380-842-014 engine suffered severe engine damage .
On September 30, 2017, on Air France Flight 66 on the way from Paris to Los Angeles, the right external engine ( GP7200 type from Engine Alliance ) tore off the entire fan (blades, disk and shaft parts), inlet and parts of the subsequent engine casing. No one was injured in the incident south-east of Greenland , and the plane was safely landed at Canada's Goose Bay military base in Labrador .
Cracks in wing parts
At the beginning of January 2012 it was announced that during the repair of the Qantas A380 , which had to land in Singapore due to the engine failure, hairline cracks were found in some of the metal brackets that connect the wing ribs to the wing skin . According to Airbus, the cracks were not due to stresses during flight, but rather to overuse during manufacture. Airbus stressed that these cracks did not pose an immediate threat to flight safety. A repair tool kit has already been developed and the manufacturing process has been corrected. After 36 cracks were found in a Qantas aircraft on February 8, 2012, EASA announced that all 68 A380s currently in service must now be checked for these cracks. The problem of cracks is said to have arisen from errors in the interaction between the alloy and the design of the rib feet. From May 2013 hairline cracks on the wings at the Elbe Flugzeugwerke in Dresden were repaired.
In November 2013, Airbus discovered another weak point during an endurance test, this time near the fuselage at the rear end of the wings. The aircraft affected can continue to operate and are to be checked and repaired during the regular maintenance work. The European Aviation Authority suggests repairs after 4,000 flights or 30,000 flight hours at the latest.
|Aircraft type code||380 ( IATA )
A388 ( ICAO )
|length||72.7 m||approx. 79.40 m|
|Engine diameter||2.95 m|
|Cabin length||50.68 m||k. A.|
|Hull diameter (width × height)||7.14 mx 8.40 m|
|Max. Cabin width||5.92 m (upper deck)
6.58 m (main deck)
|Wing area||846 m²|
|Wing sweep (t / 4 line)||33.5 °|
|Tail span||27.35 m|
|Max. Empty weight||275 t||286 t||k. A.|
|Max. Takeoff mass ( MTOW )||569 t||590 t||approx. 590 t|
|Max. Rolling mass (max. Ramp weight)||571 t||k. A.||k. A.|
|Max landing mass||391 t note 1||427 t||k. A.|
|Landing speed||228 km / h (290 t)
256 km / h (386 t)
|228 km / h (290 t)
283 km / h (450 t)
|Typical payload||66.4 t||157.4 t||k. A.|
|558 note 2||12||approx. 650|
|Max. Passenger capacity||538 below, 330 above = 868 note 3||circa 960|
|Max. Tank capacity||320,000 l||310,000 l||370,000 l|
|Engine types||A380-841: Trent 970 (B)
A380-842: Trent 972 (B)
|A380-843F: Trent 977 (B)
|thrust||from 311 kN per engine||from 340 kN per engine||from 340 kN per engine (planned)|
|Top speed||Mach 0.89 (≈ 961 km / h, ≈ 519 kn )|
|Most economical speed||Mach 0.85 (≈ 918 km / h, ≈ 496 kn)|
|Range||15,200 km||10,400 km||approx. 14,200 km|
|Service ceiling||13,100 m|
|Take-off run (max. Take-off mass)||2,750 m||2,900 m||k. A.|
|Landing distance (max. Landing mass)||2,620 m||2,770 m||k. A.|
Note 1Approximate specification; due to different equipment variants, the actual value may vary depending on the aircraft / airline.
Note 2Airbus specification; the implementations at the individual airlines differ from this.
Note 3Initially, only 523 passengers were allowed on the main deck, making a total of 853 passengers. First, the FAA approved the higher capacity, ( source? ) EASA followed at the end of 2015.
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