The A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by Airbus. It is the world's largest civil aircraft

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Avpics / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: ECGKC2
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by Airbus. It is the world's largest passenger airliner, and the airports at which it operates have upgraded facilities to accommodate it. It was initially named Airbus A3XX and designed to challenge Boeing's monopoly in the large-aircraft market. The A380 made its first flight on 27 April 2005 and entered commercial service in October 2007 with Singapore Airlines. The A380's upper deck extends along the entire length of the fuselage, with a width equivalent to a wide-body aircraft. This gives the A380-800's cabin 478 square metres (5,145.1 sq ft) of usable floor space, 40% more than the next largest airliner, the Boeing 747-8, and provides seating for 525 people in a typical three-class configuration or up to 853 people in an all-economy class configuration. The A380-800 has a design range of 15,700 kilometres (8,500 nmi; 9,800 mi), sufficient to fly nonstop from Dallas to Sydney, and a cruising speed of Mach 0.85 (about 900 km/h, 560 mph or 490 kn at cruising altitude). As of November 2014, Airbus had received 318 firm orders and delivered 147 aircraft; Emirates has the most A380s on order with 140 and 55 delivered. The A380's wing is sized for a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) over 650 tonnes to accommodate future versions, albeit with some strengthening required.The optimal wingspan for this weight is about 90 m (300 ft), but airport restrictions limited it to less than 80 m (260 ft), lowering aspect ratio to 7.8 which reduces fuel efficiency about 10% and increases operating costs a few percent.The stronger wing (and structure) would be used on the A380F freighter. The common wing design approach sacrifices fuel efficiency (due to a weight penalty) on the A380-800 passenger model, but Airbus estimates that the size of the aircraft, coupled with the uses of advanced technology, will provide lower operating costs per passenger than the 747-400.
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