Global Aircraft -- Airbus A380
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Airbus A380 Specifications
Primary Function: Commercial Transport
Contractor: Airbus
Crew: 555 triple class
Unit Cost: N/A
  Four Trent 900 or GP 7000 engines rated at 70,000 lb thrust
Length: 239 feet, 3 in
Wingspan: 261 feet, 8 in
Height: 79 feet, 7 in
Empty: 608,400 lb
Maximum Takeoff: 1,235,000 lb
Speed: Mach 0.89
Ceiling: N/A
Range: 8,000 nm

Airbus A380 Achievements
  • The A380 is the largest commercial airliner in the world.

Airbus A380 Features
The new Airbus is sold in two models. The A380-800 was originally designed to carry 555 passengers in a three-class configuration or 853 passengers (538 on the main deck and 315 on the upper deck) in a single-class economy configuration. In May 2007, Airbus began marketing the same aircraft to customers with 30 fewer passengers (now 525 passengers in three classes) traded for 370 km (200 nmi) more range, to better reflect trends in premium class accommodation.[5] The design range for the -800 model is 15,200 km (8,200 nmi).The second model, the A380-800F freighter, will carry 150 tonnes of cargo 10,400 km (5,600 nmi).Future variants may include an A380-900 stretch seating about 656 passengers (or up to 960 passengers in an all economy configuration) and an extended range version with the same passenger capacity as the A380-800.

The A380's wing is sized for a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) over 650 tonnes in order to accommodate these future versions, albeit with some strengthening required.The stronger wing (and structure) is used on the A380-800F freighter. This common design approach sacrifices some fuel efficiency on the A380-800 passenger model, but Airbus estimates that the size of the aircraft, coupled with the advances in technology described below, will provide lower operating costs per passenger than all current variants of Boeing 747. The A380 also features wingtip fences similar to those found on the A310 and A320 to alleviate the effects of wake turbulence, increasing fuel efficiency and performance.

Airbus used similar cockpit layout, procedures and handling characteristics to those of other Airbus aircraft, to reduce crew training costs. Accordingly, the A380 features an improved glass cockpit, and fly-by-wire flight controls linked to side-sticks.The improved cockpit displays feature eight 15-by-20 cm (6-by-8-inch) liquid crystal displays, all of which are physically identical and interchangeable. These comprise two Primary Flight Displays, two navigation displays, one engine parameter display, one system display and two Multi-Function Displays. These MFDs are new with the A380, and provide an easy-to-use interface to the flight management system%u2014replacing three multifunction control and display units. They include QWERTY keyboards and trackballs, interfacing with a graphical "point-and-click" display navigation system.One or two HUD (Head Up Display) is optional.

The A380 can be fitted with two types of engines: A380-841, A380-842 and A380-843F with Rolls-Royce Trent 900, and the A380-861 and A380-863F with Engine Alliance GP7000 turbofans. The Trent 900 is a derivative of the Trent 800, and the GP7000 has roots from the GE90 and PW4000. The Trent 900 core is a scaled version of the Trent 500, but incorporates the swept fan technology of the stillborn Trent 8104. The GP7200 has a GE90-derived core and PW4090-derived fan and low-pressure turbo-machinery.Only two of the four engines are fitted with thrust reversers.

Noise reduction was an important requirement in the A380's design, and particularly affects engine design.Both engine types allow the aircraft to achieve QC/2 departure and QC/0.5 arrival noise limits under the Quota Count system set by London Heathrow Airport, which is expected to become a key destination for the A380.

The A380 can run on mixed synthetic jet fuel with a natural-gas-derived component. A three hour test flight on Friday, 1 February 2008 between the Airbus company facility at Filton in the UK to the main Airbus factory in Toulouse, France, was a success. One of the A380's four engines used a mix of 60 percent standard jet kerosene and 40 percent gas to liquids (GTL) fuel supplied by Shell. The aircraft needed no modification to use the GTL fuel, which was designed to be mixed with regular jet fuel. Sebastien Remy, head of Airbus SAS's alternative fuel program, said the GTL used was no cleaner in CO2 terms than regular fuel but it had local air quality benefits because it contains no sulphur.

While most of the fuselage is aluminium, composite materials make up 25% of the A380's airframe, by weight. Carbon-fibre reinforced plastic, glass-fibre reinforced plastic and quartz-fibre reinforced plastic are used extensively in wings, fuselage sections (such as the undercarriage and rear end of fuselage), tail surfaces, and doors. The A380 is the first commercial airliner with a central wing box made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic, and it is the first to have a wing cross-section that is smoothly contoured. Other commercial airliners have wings that are partitioned span-wise in sections. The flowing, continuous cross-section allows for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. Thermoplastics are used in the leading edges of the slats. The new material GLARE (GLAss-REinforced fibre metal laminate) is used in the upper fuselage and on the stabilizers' leading edges. This aluminium-glass-fibre laminate is lighter and has better corrosion and impact resistance than conventional aluminium alloys used in aviation. Unlike earlier composite materials, it can be repaired using conventional aluminium repair techniques.Newer weldable aluminium alloys are also used. This enables the widespread use of laser beam welding manufacturing techniques %u2014 eliminating rows of rivets and resulting in a lighter, stronger structure.

The A380 employs an Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) architecture, first used in advanced military aircraft such as the F-22 Raptor, Eurofighter Typhoon, or Dassault Rafale. It is based on a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) design. Many previous dedicated single-purpose avionics computers are replaced by dedicated software housed in onboard processor modules and servers. This cuts the number of parts, provides increased flexibility without resorting to customised avionics, and reduces costs by using commercially available computing power.

Together with IMA, the A380 avionics are very highly networked. The data communication networks use Avionics Full-Duplex Switched Ethernet, following the ARINC 664 standard. The data networks are switched, full-duplexed, star-topology and based on 100baseTX fast-Ethernet.This reduces the amount of wiring required and minimizes latency.

The Network Systems Server (NSS) is the heart of A380 paperless cockpit. It eliminates the bulky manuals and charts traditionally carried by the pilots. The NSS has enough inbuilt robustness to do away with onboard backup paper documents. The A380's network and server system stores data and offers electronic documentation, providing a required equipment list, navigation charts, performance calculations, and an aircraft logbook. All are accessible to the pilot from two additional 27 cm (11 inch) diagonal LCDs, each controlled by its own keyboard and control cursor device mounted in the foldable table in front of each pilot.

Power-by-wire flight control actuators are used for the first time in civil service, backing up the primary hydraulic flight control actuators. During certain maneuvers, they augment the primary actuators. They have self-contained hydraulic and electrical power supplies. They are used as electro-hydrostatic actuators (EHA) in the aileron and elevator, and as electrical backup hydrostatic actuators (EBHA) for the rudder and some spoilers.

The aircraft's 350 bar (35 MPa or 5,000 psi) hydraulic system is an improvement over the typical 210 bar (21 MPa or 3,000 psi) system found in other commercial aircraft since the 1940s. First used in military aircraft, higher pressure hydraulics reduce the size of pipelines, actuators and other components for overall weight reduction. The 350 bar pressure is generated by eight de-clutchable hydraulic pumps. Pipelines are typically made from titanium and the system features both fuel and air-cooled heat exchangers. The hydraulics system architecture also differs significantly from other airliners. Self-contained electrically powered hydraulic power packs, instead of a secondary hydraulic system, are the backups for the primary systems. This saves weight and reduces maintenance.

The A380 uses four 150 kVA variable-frequency electrical generators eliminating the constant speed drives for better reliability. The A380 uses aluminium power cables instead of copper for greater weight savings due to the number of cables used for an aircraft of this size and complexity. The electrical power system is fully computerized and many contactors and breakers have been replaced by solid-state devices for better performance and increased reliability.

The A380 features a bulbless illumination system. LEDs are employed in the cabin, cockpit, cargo and other fuselage areas. The cabin lighting features programmable multi-spectral LEDs capable of creating a cabin ambience simulating daylight, night or shades in between. On the outside of the aircraft, HID lighting is used to give brighter, whiter and better quality illumination. These two technologies provide brightness and a service life superior to traditional incandescent light bulbs.

The A380 was initially planned without thrust reversers, as Airbus believed it to have ample braking capacity. The FAA disagreed, and Airbus elected to fit only the two inboard engines with them. The two outboard engines do not have reversers, reducing the amount of debris stirred up during landing. The A380 features electrically actuated thrust reversers, giving them better reliability than their pneumatic or hydraulic equivalents, in addition to saving weight.

The A380 produces 50% less cabin noise than a 747 and has higher cabin air pressure (equivalent to an altitude of 1500 metres (5000 ft) versus 2500 metres (8000 ft)); both features are expected to reduce the effects of travel fatigue.The upper and lower decks are connected by two stairways, fore and aft, wide enough to accommodate two passengers side-by-side. In a 555-passenger configuration, the A380 has 33% more seats than a 747-400 in a standard three-class configuration but 50% more cabin area and volume, resulting in more space per passenger. Its maximum certified carrying capacity is 853 passengers in an all-economy-class configuration.The two full-length decks and wide stairways allow multiple seat configurations of the Airbus A380. The announced configurations go from 450 (Qantas) up to 644 passengers (Emirates Airline two-class configuration).

Compared to a 747, the A380 has larger windows and overhead bins, and 60 cm (2 ft) of extra headroom. The wider cabin allows for up to 48 cm (19 inch) wide economy seats at a 10 abreast configuration on the main deck,[76][77] while 10 abreast seating on the 747 has a seat width of only 43.7 cm (17.2 inch) (seat pitch varies by airline).

Airbus' initial publicity stressed the comfort and space of the A380's cabin,anticipating installations such as relaxation areas, bars, duty-free shops, and beauty salons. Virgin Atlantic Airways already offers a bar as part of its "Upper Class" service on its A340 and 747 aircraft, and has announced plans to include casinos, double beds, and gymnasiums on its A380s.Singapore Airlines offers twelve fully-enclosed first-class suites on its A380, each with one full and one secondary seat, full-sized bed, desk, personal storage. Four of these suites are in the form of two "double" suites featuring a double bed.Qantas Airways has shown their product which features a long flat-bed that converts from the seat but does not have privacy doors.Emirates Airline's fourteen first-class private suites have shared access to two "shower spas".First and business class passengers have shared access to a snack bar and lounge with two sofas, in addition to a first-class-only private lounge.

Airbus A380 Background
In the summer of 1988 a group of Airbus engineers, led by Jean Roeder, began working in secret on the development of a ultra-high-capacity airliner (UHCA), 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.McDonnell Douglas unsuccessfully offered its smaller, double-deck MD-12 concept for sale. As each manufacturer looked to build a successor to the 747, they knew there was room for only one new aircraft to be profitable in the 600 to 800 seat market segment. Each knew the risk of splitting such a niche market, as had been demonstrated by the simultaneous debut of the Lockheed L-1011 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10: both planes met the market needs, but the market could profitably sustain only one model, eventually resulting in Lockheed's departure from the civil airliner business.

Roeder was given approval for further evaluations of the UHCA after a formal presentation to the President and CEO in June 1990. The project was announced at the 1990 Farnborough Air Show, with the stated goal of 15 % lower operating costs than the 747-400.Airbus organized four teams of designers, one from each of its EADS partners (Aerospatiale, DaimlerChrysler Aerospace, British Aerospace, EADS CASA) to propose new technologies for its future aircraft designs. The designs would be presented in 1992 and the most competitive designs would be used.

In January 1993, Boeing and several companies in the Airbus consortium started a joint feasibility study of an aircraft known as the Very Large Commercial Transport (VLCT), aiming to form a partnership to share the limited market.

In June 1994, Airbus began developing its own very large airliner, designated the A3XX. Airbus considered several designs, including an odd side-by-side combination of two fuselages from the A340, which was Airbus's largest jet at the time.The A3XX was pitted against the VLCT study and Boeing's own New Large Aircraft successor to the 747, which evolved into the 747X, a stretched version of the 747 with the fore body "hump" extended rearwards to accommodate more passengers. The joint VLCT effort ended in April 1995,and Boeing suspended the 747X program in January 1997. From 1997 to 2000, as the East Asian financial crisis darkened the market outlook, Airbus refined its design, targeting a 15 to 20 percent reduction in operating costs over the existing Boeing 747-400. The A3XX design converged on a double-decker layout that provided more passenger volume than a traditional single-deck design.

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