Airbus A380 Assembly
Airbus Industrie is a consortium formed by E.A.D.S. and BAe Systems. E.A.D.S., the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, was formed by a merger of Aerospatiale-Matra of France, Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace of Germany and CASA of Spain (former members of Airbus). In October 2006, BAe Systems completed the sale of its shareholding to E.A.D.S., which is now the sole owner of Airbus.
The Airbus A380 has twin-aisle cabins on the upper and lower decks, with 49% more floor space for 35% higher seating capacity than the Boeing 747-400. Airbus maintains this allows for more space and comfort on board.
Airbus Parts Come Together
Airbus’s A380 aircraft sections are transported from sites in Broughton (UK), Hamburg (Germany), Puerto Real (Spain) and St Nazaire (France) in a specially constructed huge roll-on / roll-off vessel (ro-ro), the “Ville de Bordeaux”, built by Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing, China.
The vessel was launched in July 2003 and has the largest water stern door (22m x 14m) ever built on a ro-ro vessel. The vessel takes the components to Bordeaux. From there they are transported via specially constructed barges up the Garonne River and then transferred by road trailer to the final assembly line in Toulouse.
Airbus A380 Materials
In order to minimise the unladen weight, the Airbus 380 structures incorporate a range of new materials as used on the A318 and A340 families of aircraft. Carbon fibre reinforced plastic is used for the central box of the wings, the horizontal stabilisers (which are the same size as the Airbus A310 wing), the fin, the rear fuselage section and for ceiling beams.
A new material, Glare, that is highly resistant to fatigue is used in the construction of the panels for the upper fuselage. The aluminium and fibreglass layers of Glare do not allow propagation of cracks, it is much lighter than conventional materials and represents a weight saving of about 500kg in the construction. Impact resistant thermoplastics are used on the wing leading edge. The aircraft has 16 wing spoilers supplied by Patria of Finland.
The A380 incorporates two rather than three Eaton Corporation hydraulic systems with an increased hydraulic pressure of 5,000lb/in² instead of a standard 3,000psi.
If there is more you want to learn about this airliner, please visit: A380 Home, A380 Specs, A380 Order Book, A380 Interior and A380 History.
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