Landing into Barcelona, my second trip this month. Landing runway 25 right. Beautiful day clear skies, light winds and 26 degrees.
King of the skies —> the Airbus A380.
It’s a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner known to be the world’s largest passenger aircraft up to date. It’s massive size and reputation left all its operating airports around the globe no choice but to upgrade their facilities to accommodate the jumbo jet. It’s first flight was made on 27 April 2005 and entered commercial service on 25 October 2007 with Singapore Airlines.
As of May 2018, Airbus had received over 300 firm orders; Emirates is its biggest customer with 162 ordered of which 105 have been delivered. The A380 was initially offered in two models: the A380-800 ( passenger aircraft ) and the A380F ( Freighter aircraft which carries 150 tonnes of cargo up to a range of 10,400km ) The A380 is mostly offered with the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 turbofan engines. Rolls-Royce is supporting the CAA in understanding the relatively high A380/Trent 900 monitored noise levels. Heathrow’s landing charges having a noise component, the A380 is cheaper to land there than a Boeing 777-200 and -300 and it saves $4,300 to $5,200 per landing, or $15.3M to $18.8M of present value over 15 years. Tokyo Narita has a similar noise charge. What makes the jumbo stand out in between all the double-deck aircrafts ever made, is that its upper deck extends along the entire length of the fuselage, with a width equivalent to a wide-body aircraft. This gives the A380’s cabin 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. ( Impressive eh? )
The jumbo is designed to fly up to a range of 15,700km; serving the world’s largest routes at an average cruise speed of 907 km/h. ( Mach 0.85 )
The A380-900 is a future variant of this aircraft that is currently under development. It is said to accommodate 960 passengers in an all-economy configuration.