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"A penny for your thoughts"

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Airbus A380

The first completed A380 at the "A380 Reveal" event in Toulouse, France. - Cruising speed Mach 0.85 (903 km/h, 561 mph, 487 knots)-Maximum cruising speed Mach 0.89 (945 km/h, 587 mph, 510 knots)

The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, an EADS subsidiary. The largest passenger airliner in the world, the A380 made its maiden flight on 27 April 2005 from Toulouse, France, and made its first commercial flight on 25 October 2007 from Singapore to Sydney with Singapore Airlines. The A380-800, the passenger model, is the largest passenger airliner in the world provides seating for 525 people in standard three-class configuration or up to 853 people in all economy class configurations.(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.)(The wider cabin allows for up to 48 cm (19 in) wide economy seats at a 10 abreast configuration on the main deck, while 10 abreast seating on the 747 has a seat width of only 43.7 cm (17.2 in) [seat pitch varies by airline].) It is the first commercial jet capable of using GTL-based fuel. The A380 can run on mixed synthetic jet fuel with a natural-gas-derived component. The GTL used was no cleaner in CO2 terms than standard fuel but it had local air quality benefits because it contains no sulphur. The A380 produces 50% less cabin noise than a 747 and has higher cabin air pressure (equivalent to an altitude of 1,500 m (4,900 ft) versus 2,500 m (8,200 ft); both features are expected to reduce the effects of travel fatigue.

Major structural sections of the A380 are built in France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Due to their size, they are brought to the assembly hall in Toulouse in France by surface transportation. Components of the A380 are provided by suppliers from around the world; the five largest contributors, by value, are Rolls-Royce, SAFRAN, United Technologies, General Electric, and Goodrich.

The first aircraft delivered (MSN003, registered 9V-SKA) was handed over to Singapore Airlines on 15 October 2007 and entered into service on 25 October 2007 with a inaugural flight between Singapore and Sydney (flight number SQ380). Passengers bought seats in a charity online auction paying between $560 and $100,380. Two months later Singapore Airlines CEO Chew Choong Seng said that the A380 was performing better than both the airline and Airbus had anticipated, burning 20% less fuel per passenger than the airline's existing 747-400 fleet. Emirates Airline was the second airline to take delivery of the A380 on 28 July 2008 and started flights between Dubai and New York on 1 August 2008. Qantas followed on 19 September 2008, starting flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles on 20 October 2008. By the end of 2008, 890,000 passengers had flown on 2,200 A380 flights totaling 21,000 hours.

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 partly-enclosed first-class suites (open at top) on its A380, each with one full and one secondary seat, full-sized bed, desk, personal storage. Four of these suites (C and D on rows 3 and 4) have dividing walls that can be removed to create two "double" suites with two beds modified into one 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.

Top Orders for Airbus A380

Total: 185 orders (165 firm orders)
15 customers

Emirates: 47
Qantas: 20
Singapore Airlines: 19

Singapore Airlines
Making history: the first double bed on a commercial jet. US$14,320 price for two tickets in one of the suites, -Stephen Forshaw, a Singapore Airlines official warns, "If couples used our double beds to engage in inappropriate activity, we would politely ask them to desist."

Unlike other airlines, that have considered offering casinos, gyms and showers on their future A380s, Singapore Airlines has opted instead for a configuration that, whilst offering luxury, also makes money. Behind the 12 luxury suites there are 399 economy seats, ranked 10-abreast on the upper and lower decks, as well as 60 business class seats that are the biggest yet at 87 centimeters wide. Tickets for the A380's first return commercial flight between Singapore and Sydney were sold at auction on eBay. One passenger paid $100,000 for the experience, with the majority paying between $1,500 and $5,000. The $1.4 million raised has gone to charities in Singapore, Sydney and a global humanitarian organization.

Emirates Airlines



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