Airbus A380 Assembly

Airbus A380 Assembly

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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.

Airbus A380 assembly nose section
Airbus A380 assembly of the nose and forward fuselage section.

Airbus A380 assembly of the after and centre fuselage sections
Airbus A380 assembly of the rear and centre fuselage sections.

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 starts to take shape as the fuselage sections have been joined
An Airbus A380 starts to take shape as the fuselage sections have been joined

Airbus A380 starts to resemble the impressive aircraft she is
An Airbus A380 starts to resemble the impressive aircraft she is.

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.

Airbus A380 assembly all the major work done
Airbus A380 assembly, all the major work is done. Just engines to hang and off to the paint shop.

A QANTAS Airbus A380 is completed and flies to the Hamburg factory for paint and fit out
A QANTAS Airbus A380 is completed and flies to the Hamburg factory for paint and fit out.


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 HomeA380  Specs,  A380 Order BookA380 Interior and A380 History.
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2 thoughts on “Airbus A380 Assembly”

  1. Hi Paul,
    I was just looking to site this webpage for a research project that I am doing as part of my extended project at school and I was wondering if you would be able to share with me the date you wrote this article and your surname if you would like that to be included.
    Thank you very much

    • Hi Tom,

      thank you for stopping by.

      The pages that deal with the A380 have been a work in progress since around August 2008. This was at a time when we here in Sydney, Australia were lucky enough to be a destination for the first scheduled services of the Singapoare Airlines Airbus A380.

      Feel free to use modernairliners.com as a reference if that helps you.

      All the best with your project.

      Best regards Peter

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