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10 things you must know about Airbus A-380

Why A380 aircraft have become so important to many airlines today

1. Easy on the Gas

It’s big, but not a gas-guzzler. Calculated per passenger, Lufthansa’s A380s get 69 miles per gallon. The airplane holds 81,890 gallons, meaning that more than a third of what the plane weighs on takeoff—560 tons—is the weight of the fuel.

2. Rolls-Royce Engines

The four Rolls-Royce engines of the A380 are the length of a Mercedes C-series sedan and four times as heavy. The internal temperature of the engine in operation is 3100 fahrenheit degrees.

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3. Big Wings

The A380’s wings are the biggest ever created, 2,775 square feet in size and fully 54 percent larger than the wings of a Boeing 747.

4. Smooth Takeoff

During takeoff, the A380’s wings practically flap, as the tips flex upwards as much as 13 feet.

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5. European Made

The A380 is a pan-European product. The engines and wings are produced in England, parts of the fuselage and the tail in Germany and Spain. Airbus test engineer Fernando Alonso describes the airplane as “a symbol of Europe.” When complete, these airplane sections are shipped by land, air, and sea for final assembly in France.

6. Exclusive Airports

Twenty airports in the world are handling A380 service, meaning that they have long enough runways, wide enough taxiways, and 78,000 square feet available at the boarding gate where the plane can be parked. Airports also need special equipment to handle passengers and cargo, and sometimes even baggage conveyor belts must be lengthened since 500 to 800 passengers means a lot of luggage.

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7. More Computer than Machine

The A380 is flown by two pilots. “Actually, there’s no difference between flying 30 passengers and 526,” says Harald Tschira, a Lufthansa first officer. “This airplane is very easy to control, despite its weight, and the handling characteristics are more like a short-range airplane.” The pilots can nap in a sleeping compartment located behind the cockpit on long-haul flights while a second crew provides backup.

8. 21 Attendants

Twenty-one flight attendants are assigned to the Lufthansa A380, working in five galleys and using a separate computer system dedicated to cabin activities. They have their own rest compartment with eight beds located below the galley at the rear of the airplane.

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9. Seat with a View

From individual video monitors at each seat, passengers can watch the progress of the flight from cameras mounted below the cabin and on the airplane’s tail.

10. Maximum Range

The A380-800 has a design range of 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km), sufficient to fly nonstop from Dallas to Sydney, and a cruising speed of Mach 0.85 (about 900 km/h, 560 mph or 490 kn at cruising altitude).

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Other important facts 

The A380 is 15 tonnes lighter than it would be if made entirely of metal.

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  • The 4400m2 surface of the A380 is covered in three layers of paint weighing around 500kg.
  • During take-off the A380 wing will flex upwards by over 4m.
  • The air in the A380 cabin is changed every two minutes, and the temperature can be selected between 18 and 30 degrees.
  • An A380 takes off or lands every three minutes
  • 8000 bolts are used to attach the three main parts of the aircraft. In total an A380 comprises of 4 million individual components, produced by 1500 companies, in 30 different countries.
  • The A380 is a low-noise aircraft and uses light-weight and environment-friendly components. This aircraft also has lowest emission than any other aircraft.
  • The aircraft is designed for 140,000 flying hours.
  •  If all the wiring in the A380 is laid end to end, it will stretch from Edinburgh to London – 320 miles.
  •  More than 3600 liters of paint is required to paint the exterior of the aircraft.
  • The giant plane flies at 43,000 feet, with maximum speed of 640 miles/hour.
  •  The A380 is 24.1 meters high, 80 meters wide, and 72.7 meters long, equivalent to 2 blue whales length. The plane weighs approximately 590 tons.
  •  The wings of the plane are 54% larger than the wings of a Boeing 747 aircraft.
  •  The giant plane has enough space to carry approximately 3000 suitcases and 525 passengers.
  •  The A380 holds 81900 gallons of fuel weighing 560 tons.  It burns 17% less fuel than other large airplanes. It consumes 4 liter of fuel in 100km per passenger.
  • Only few runways in the world are now fully capable of handling A380 aircrafts. Others are not long or wide enough or not technically equipped for A380.
  •  Airbus on the other hand has gone big, so big in fact that it produced the world’s largest passenger plane, the A380. The A380 has 478 square meters of usable cabin space, making it 40 percent larger than the next largest passenger plane, the Boeing 747 

 

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He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)gmail.com

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Aerospace

Take First Glimpse of USAF B-21 Raider, Latest Nuclear Stealth Bomber

Take First Glimpse of USAF B-21 Raider, Latest Nuclear Stealth Bomber
Image:USAF

The United States Air Force (USAF) has unveiled the first photographs of the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider bomber in flight.

These images were captured during test flights conducted by the B-21 Combined Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base, marking a significant milestone in the development of this sixth-generation aircraft.

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Currently undergoing flight tests in California, the B-21 Raider represents the next generation of stealth bombers. With an estimated cost of around $700 million per aircraft, the B-21 Raider is poised to become a crucial component of the USAF’s arsenal for conventional Long Range Strike missions.

According to Air Force briefings, the B-21 Raider will form part of a comprehensive family of systems, encompassing Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance capabilities, electronic warfare, communication systems, and more. Notably, the bomber will be nuclear-capable and adaptable for both manned and unmanned operations.

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It boasts the flexibility to deploy a wide array of stand-off and direct-attack munitions, ensuring versatility in various combat scenarios. One of the B-21’s distinguishing features is its extensive integration of digital technology, as highlighted in discussions held during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Designed with an open systems architecture, the B-21 Raider is built to swiftly incorporate emerging technologies, ensuring its effectiveness against evolving threats over time. The B-21 Raider is slated to replace the aging B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers, bolstering US national security objectives and providing reassurance to allies and partners worldwide.

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Aerospace

Aurora Flight Sciences Unveils Innovative X-Plane Design

Aurora Flight Sciences Unveils Innovative X-Plane Design

Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing company, has recently completed the conceptual design review for a groundbreaking high-speed, vertical lift X-plane.

This aircraft, part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program called Speed and Runway Independent Technologies (SPRINT), aims to demonstrate key technologies and integrated concepts that combine high speed with runway independence.

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Aurora’s design features a low-drag, fan-in-wing demonstrator integrated into a blended wing body platform. This innovative approach merges the agility of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) with exceptional speed capabilities.

The team is focused on ensuring the program’s success by setting the stage for successful flight demonstrations, showcasing a transformative capability for air mobility and Special Operations Forces (SOF) missions.

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New renderings of the fan-in-wing (FIW) demonstrator show three lift fans, a more refined composite exterior, and an uncrewed cockpit. The decision to use three lift fans simplifies the demonstrator, streamlining its path to flight testing. This FIW technology can be scaled to incorporate four or more lift fans to meet future aircraft requirements, potentially leading to a new family of systems.

Additionally, while the current demonstrator is uncrewed to facilitate testing and reduce risk, the FIW technology is fully adaptable to crewed aircraft. Aurora’s concept is designed to meet or exceed DARPA’s challenging program objectives. The blended wing body platform is capable of a 450-knot cruise speed, and the embedded lift fans with integrated covers enable a smooth transition from vertical to horizontal flight.

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The design also utilizes existing engine solutions, reducing development risks and timelines. Besides VTOL, the aircraft can perform short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL), super short take-off and landing (SSTOL), and conventional take-off and landing.

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Aerospace

China Developing Comac C939 Wide Body Aircraft to Compete with A350 and B777

China Developing Comac C939 Wide Body Aircraft to Compete with A350 and B777


China’s Comac aircraft company is currently underway with the development of its own wide-body aircraft, the C939, positioned to compete with industry stalwarts like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 in the future. This strategic move by Comac involves crafting the next iteration with enhanced capacity and extended range capabilities, marking a significant leap forward in technological advancement compared to the current C919 aircraft.

Air China has inked a substantial deal worth a staggering $10.8 billion, based on list prices, to acquire 100 Comac C919 jets, signaling a strong vote of confidence in the domestic challenger to aerospace giants Airbus and Boeing.

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China Comac C919 Total Order

With both China Southern and Air China combining orders for nearly 200 aircraft, the prospects for the new C919 aircraft appear increasingly promising for future fleet growth. To date, Comac has garnered orders for nearly 1,100 aircraft.

China is contemplating the development of another wide-body aircraft, the C939, poised to significantly bolster the aerospace industry in China.

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COMAC has initiated work on the C939, a new wide-body airliner. While design concepts have been formulated, it will still take several years before a prototype materializes, according to reports from the South China Morning Post, citing anonymous sources.

Initially intended to be a joint venture with Russia, plans were halted due to Russia’s decision to safeguard its copyrights and technological advancements within its borders. Consequently, collaboration between China and Russia on aircraft development was discontinued. Sources suggest that China is vigorously pursuing new avenues for the independent development of its own wide-body aircraft, crucial for accommodating larger passenger capacities and extended flight ranges.

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Comac C939 competes with Boeing 777 and A350

Information regarding the program remains limited. COMAC has refrained from commenting on the development of the new aircraft type, stating that official announcements will be made in due course. Nevertheless, the C939 could potentially accommodate up to 390 passengers, positioning it to compete with the largest Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft.

In addition to the prospective C939, COMAC is already advancing with the development of another widebody aircraft, known as the C929. This aircraft is poised to rival the Boeing 787 and Airbus A330, boasting 280 seats and a range approaching 6,500 nautical miles.

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Since obtaining certification in late 2022, the COMAC C919 has been operational, accumulating nearly 1,000 firm orders, predominantly from Chinese-owned airlines and leasing companies.

With multiple widebody aircraft in the pipeline, COMAC stands to achieve parity with the two leading international aircraft manufacturers. Boeing, with its 777 and 787 models, and Airbus, with the A330neo and A350, both have a comparable range of offerings. However, Boeing’s aircraft are encountering delays and production challenges despite substantial orders, while the A350 is performing commendably, though the A330neo’s order intake has not met initial projections.

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How much does C919 cost?

China is under pressure to fulfill the current orders for the C919 aircraft, prompting plans to expand production facilities across various regions within the country. The aim is to ramp up production capacity for C919 planes to 150 aircraft annually over the next five years. The latest reports indicate that the C919 is priced around $99 million, comparable to the price of Boeing 737 Max and Airbus A320 aircraft, with expectations for further price reductions in the future.

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While the C919 has yet to be certified in major aviation markets outside of China, only four have been delivered thus far. In the long term, COMAC’s widebody aircraft will vie for global competitiveness. One potential benefit of COMAC aircraft could be in reducing China’s reliance on Western aircraft manufacturers. However, this shift won’t happen immediately; the current delivery rate of four aircraft in nearly 18 months is not sustainable, and both Airbus and Boeing have established manufacturing facilities in China to cater to its sizable market.

Nevertheless, assuming COMAC addresses the issues impeding deliveries, there’s a plausible scenario where the manufacturer assumes a significant role, particularly as China’s aviation market continues to expand.

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As the C939 progresses through its development stages, more details are expected to emerge. Comparisons between official specifications of the C929 and C939 will be noteworthy, as will the initial orders for each aircraft type. However, it’s anticipated that neither will undergo test flights or enter into service for several years.

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