Airbus A380

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US$ Cost:
Primary Function:
Seats (typical):
Weight Empty:
Max. Weight:
Cruise Speed:
Max. Speed:
Climb Rate:
First Flight:
Year Deployed:
$430 – 435 million
Trent 900 or GP 7000
4 x 70,000 lbs. ea.
608,400 lbs.
1,272,000 lbs.
239 ft.
262 ft.
560 mph
587 mph
2,850 fpm (est.)
43,000 feet
8,000 miles

Airbus A380

Airbus A380

The Rolls Royce Trent 900 and Engine Alliance GP 7200 turbofans make the Airbus A380 the most quiet transoceanic aircraft currently in service, according to the manufacturer. They claim that the aircraft is 50% quieter than their competition.

Although there are longer passenger airliners, the overall largest in wingspan and weight is the Airbus A380. Its maximum seating capacity is over 850. Airbus tells us that due to its high bipass engines and efficient aerodynamics, it is the most efficient giant airliner. The aircraft can take off and land in about the same runway length as other large aircraft but, some runways needed to be made wider to accommodate its extra wingspan.

Composites are used throughout the Airbus A380, including its central wing box, for light weight strength.

Additional savings in weight have been realized by using a weldable aluminum alloy. With welding, the use of rivets is reduced or eliminated, providing less drag on exterior aircraft surfaces.

Integrated Modular Avionics, similar to what is used on modern fighter aircraft, is used in the Airbus A380. Processors holding dedicated software have replaced multiple single purpose avionics reducing wiring, parts, weight and costs. A network and server system stores data, navigation charts, aircraft logs and more in the aircraft.

The Airbus A380 is the first civilian aircraft to use power by wire flight controls, all powered by their own electronics and hydraulics. Aluminum power cables are used throughout the aircraft for weight savings. Previous aircraft used copper. There are no light bulbs in the airliner. All have been replaced with LED’s for greater reliability. The aircraft only has thrust reversers on the inboard engines to reduce debris. To increase reliability and save weight, these are electrically actuated.

In order to keep training expenses down, Airbus made the cockpit of the Airbus A380 similar to its other aircraft.

Multi function displays are the centerpiece of the cockpit design. Navigation is as simple as point and click.

Pilots commented that flying the Airbus A380 is like operating a computer game.

An optional HUD (Head Up Display) is available for the airplane. The display is specialized for passenger aircraft and is used primarily for take off and landing in low visibility situations.

Feb. 10, 2020: Today the last Airbus A380 wing to ever be built was completed for delivery to the factory for final aircraft assembly. It marks the ending of production for the aircraft. Airbus A380 aircraft sales never reached anticipated levels, and Airbus has lost money on the project. Head of business analysis and market forecast at Airbus, Bob Lange, said: “In the end, you have to face facts, and we could see that we were building A380s faster than people were ordering them.”

Some 242 Airbus A 380 aircraft have been delivered to date against 251 orders.

Airbus A380 Peter Michael

RC Airbus A380

The huge, great looking, 18 foot wingspan RC Airbus A380 by Peter Michel. There are four jet turbine engines powering it. It has been reported that Michel paid 3,500 Euros each for the custom manufactured engines. Michael’s airplane is said to reach speeds up to 75 mph. All up weight is about 155 lbs.

The RC Airbus A380 from Scale comes as a kit. Its wingspan is 71 in. and length 65 in. Construction is all foam. It needs your motors, electronics, and EDF units. Ready to fly weight should be around 62 oz.

The Leisure Models RC Airbus A380 has a 65 in. wingspan and a 59 in. length. It has a glass fibre fuselage with composite wings. Included are working flaps and retracts. Power comes from four 60 mm EDF units turned by brushless motors. All up weight is around 49 oz.


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