A visual history of the Airbus A380

Written by Staff Writer The new-generation Airbus A380 is a technological marvel. Spanning 555 feet (169 meters) long, 1,645 feet (469 meters) wide and composed of 615,000 cubic feet (1.7 million cubic meters) of…

A visual history of the Airbus A380

Written by Staff Writer

The new-generation Airbus A380 is a technological marvel. Spanning 555 feet (169 meters) long, 1,645 feet (469 meters) wide and composed of 615,000 cubic feet (1.7 million cubic meters) of air, the A380 is as much a monument to modern technology as it is an aircraft.

Its arrival in 2006 marked the beginning of a new era in commercial air travel, as eight years later the iconic double-decker began service on London’s Heathrow Airport’s main concourse. Now, in just 13 years, the A380 has gone through more than 15 service entries with 23 commercial operators.

1 / 5 The Airbus A380 took its first commercial flight in 2006 from Singapore to Los Angeles. On Wednesday, a380 passengers will board on a Dubai-based connection to start a six-day, around-the-world journey.

Giant leaps for technology

The twin-engined widebody has gone through countless technological developments. In the early part of the millennium it was a direct descendant of the Boeing 747, which first entered service in 1970. At that time, it was considered a plane that could compete with the all-new 787 Dreamliner, which entered service in late 2000.

Some of the A380’s innovations include its huge capacity and air ducts that allow the plane to breathe heavy air. The A380 also features an experimental passenger-facing head rest, as well as a near-zero-obesity environment for fuel consumption and a lighter skin for better fuel economy.

However, its greatest achievement has been its ability to evolve into a truly modern and flexible aircraft, allowing airlines and maintenance contractors to further improve it. From the adoption of modular cabin retrofits to GPS tracking sensors for maintenance, the Airbus A380 proved to be a reliable plane with practical uses.

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