Airbus A380-841, Thai Airways International

Airbus A380 Specs

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Airbus A380 Specifications

The A380-800 has a standard seating layout for 555 passengers on two decks in a three class configuration. This will vary from airline to airline. QANTAS, for example, has fitted its aircraft out with 523 seats in three classes.  The A380 has 49% more floor area but only 35% more seats than the Boeing 747-400 which it was set to compete against (this is in the 555 seat configuration).  This allows more room for passenger amenities such as bars, gymnasiums and duty free shops at the airlines discretion. 

The aircraft is equipped with four 70,000lb thrust engines, either the Rolls Royce Trent 900 or the General Electric / Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance GP7200. Rolls Royce delivered the first Trent 900 engine in February 2004 and it made a successful first flight on an A340-300 test-bed in May 2004.

QANTAS Airbus A380 taxi for 34L at Sydney

A QANTAS (Queensland And Northern Territory Air Services) Airbus A380 taxis for runway 34 Left at Sydney. The appreciation of the sheer size of this aircraft makes you feel very small.

Goodrich supplies the engine sensor system for the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 and Ametek the sensor system for the Engine Alliance GP7200. BAe supplies Systems Controls and Hispano-Suiza provides the FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control) system for the GP7200.

The take-off length for the Airbus A380 800 is 2,900m at maximum weight at sea level, ISA +15° conditions and the initial cruise altitude is 35,000ft. The aircraft complies with the noise emission limits of ICAO (Chapter 3, Schedule 16) for overfly, approach and side-on manoeuvres including stricter regulations of London Heathrow airport concerning take-off and landing. This enables aircraft operations at night.


The first Singapore Airbus A380 800 arrived in October 2007.

There are ten fuel tanks with a capacity of 320,000 Litres of fuel. Refuelling can be carried out in 40mins.

The 22-wheel Goodrich landing gear consists of two under-wing struts each with four wheels, two central under-fuselage struts each with six wheels and a twin nose wheel. Each landing gear supports about 167tonnes. Messier-Dowty supplies the nose landing gear with 350bar hydraulic pressure and Messier-Bugatti the braking and steering systems. Smiths Aerospace supplies the landing gear extension and retraction system. The load on the airport runways and aprons are of similar magnitude to that of a 747. ELDEC of Lynnwood, Washington, provides the landing gear proximity sensing system.

The aircraft can complete a 180° turn within a width of 56.5m, which is within the 60m width dimension of standard runways.  The maximum operating speed is Mach 0.89 and the range is 15,000km or 8,000nm with the maximum number of passengers. The turnaround time at the airport terminal, including passenger disembarkation, cleaning, restocking and embarking the passengers for the next flight is a minimum of 90 minutes.


A Korean Airlines A380 800 on approach.

A380 Plus

In order to make the A380 even better and naturally more saleable to airlines, Airbus have undertaken a program of updates and improvements. These A380 Plus updates have one main focus and that is economy of operation. Whilst there is a sector of the market that benefits from the luxury offers of deluxe personalised cabins and the like, a strong case for using the A380 is its capability of moving a huge number of people for relatively low cost. Airbus expects a 4% saving on fuel burn and with several other modifications a per seat saving on overhead costs of 13%.

So what is the A380 Plus and how will it differ from the current A380?

Firstly, aerodynamics. The A380 might be seen as rather curious as it did not come to market originally with winglets. Winglets offer the ability to generate more lift without adding substantially to wingspan. Too much wingspan of course incurs the need for wider gate areas at airports which is a huge additional overhead. The generation of more lift of course is a major factor in reducing fuel burn. The design of the winglets is similar to the split configuration of the Boeing 737 MAX, with the larger upward pointing winglets (uplet) being 3.5 metres and and the downward pointing winglets (downlet) being 1.5 metres.

A380 Plus

The A380 Plus sporting split winglets at the 2017 Paris Airshow.

This additional lift also gives the opportunity to carry more payload. To this end, Airbus is increasing the available deck space in the passenger cabin by, making the fore and aft staircase more functional so they take less space. So gone is the nice sweeping staircase in the rear. Also where the are bins beneath the windows, these will now be removed giving more available space to the width of the cabin. The improved lift will enable an increase to the Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) of 570 tonnes which could be translated to varying 80 more passengers or flying 300nm further than today’s range of 8,200nm. Airbus says that the average seat configuration chosen by airlines is 497 in total and that this could rise to 575 in the A380 Plus.

Emirates have been pressuring Airbus for a NEO (New Engine Option) version of the A380, however, Airbus is reluctant to commit to the huge development costs while sales of the aircraft are so soft. The current A380 Plus features go some way to achieving the economic savings airlines are looking for.

Airbus A380 Spec Table

Typical Seating 555 passengers
Airbus A380 Price (average) US$375.3 Million
Flight Crew 2
Length 73 Metres
Height 24.1 Metres
Fuselage Diameter 7.14 Meters
Cabin Length 50.68 Metres
Maximum Cabin Width, Main Deck 6.58 Metres
Maximum Cabin Width, Upper Deck 5.92 Metres
Wheel Base 30.4 Metres
Track 14.3 Metres
Wing Area 843 Square Metres
Wing Span 79.8m
Sweep, 25% of Chord 33.5%
Maximum Ramp Weight 562 tonnes
Maximum Take-off Weight 560,000kg (1,234,600lb)
Maximum Landing Weight 386,000kg (850,984lb)
Maximum Zero Fuel Weight 361,000kg (795869lb)
Maximum Fuel Capacity 320,000 Litres
Typical Operating Empty Weight 277,000kg (610,700lb)
Typical Volume Payload 664,000kg (1,463,869lb)
Powerplants A380-800 – Four 311kN (70,000lb), initially derated to 302kN (68,000lb), later growing to 374kN (84,000lb) thrust

Rolls-Royce Trent 900 or 363kN (81,500lb) thrust Engine Alliance (General Electric-Pratt & Whitney) GP-7200 turbofans.

Range with Maximum Number of Passengers 15,000 Km (8,000 Nm)
Maximum Operating Speed 0.89 Mach
Long Range Cruising Speed 0.85 Mach
Service Ceiling 43.000ft (13,100m)
Total Freight and Cargo Volume 171 Cubic Metres
Bulk Hold Volume 18.4 Cubic Metres
Maximum Volume of Pallets Under Floor 13 Pallets
Container Capacity Underfloor 38 LD3 containers

Airbus A380 Cutaway

Airbus A380 cutaway

This cutaway of the Airbus A380 gives an impression of the layout and position of many of the components of this Super Jumbo.


If there is more you want to learn about this airliner, please visit; A380 Home, A380 Order Book, A380 Assembly, A380 Interior and A380 History.
We welcome your comment below, is there more we could be showing or are there topics you would like to see? Thank you.

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34 thoughts on “Airbus A380 Specs

      1. Chris

        I would agree as well! I also love the transonic speed of this incredibly large airliner; the local flow velocity and the speed of the sound in the medium are well balanced! I wish to take a flight with one of these!

        -Chris (12 years of age)

        1. Pisquali

          Hi Chris,

          Thank you for stopping by. Yes the A380 is a pleasure to fly on, a great feeling of space. I hope you get tho fly on one soon.

          Cheers Peter

  1. praveen

    what is the area of tail (vertical and horizontal) of airbus a380..
    please get back asap.

    1. Pisquali

      Hi and thanks for stopping by. In answer to your question, the dimensions of the vertical and horizontal stabilisers of the Airbus A380 are:
      Vertical Stabiliser (tail) = 2421.9 Sq ft
      Horizontal Stabiliser (each side) = 2314.8 Sq ft

      I hope that helps. Be sure to comer back as we add more pages to this site.

      Regards Peter

      1. Alka

        Hey, can you add more data such as placement of aerodynamic center, coeff of lift, moment, size of the elevator, rudders, ailerons.
        If you are not able to, can please tell me where you find this data.

        1. Pisquali

          Hi Alka,

          Great to see you here. This is a work in progress and we are working to add more content all the time. Your suggestion is appreciated and we will endeavour to add these details over time.

          Cheers Peter

  2. Glen

    have now been on A380 twice and planning another early 2017, absolutely fantastic.
    Both business & economy has lots of room.

    1. Pisquali

      Hi Glen,

      I have been on the QANTAS A380 in business class and premium economy class a few times and each time was wonderful. There is definitely a great concept of space and the flying is so smooth.
      Fly well.

  3. David Svarrer

    Having flown the Airbus A380 800 now quite some times off late, I must admit it is very very comfortable flying as passenger … Good space, good air, and one got the feeling of a flight with space for the staff as well. So everything was not so squeezed…

    1. Pisquali

      I totally agree, the feeling of space is certainly evident. I have only flown on the QANTAS one a few times but have enjoyed it immensely.

  4. Graham

    Hello I have photographed an A380 at high altitude and an app told me 49,000ft would this be correct because someone told me an A380 cannot and does not fly that high, so can you please help me clarify this issue ? kind regards Graham.

    1. Pisquali

      Hi Graham,
      I think maybe your app might have misreported the altitude. The service ceiling of the Airbus A380 is 43,000 feet. That means it can fly that high carrying passengers and cargo. Empty, it could go higher, but I doubt 49,000 feet. It comes down to economics. An aircraft will burn less fuel at higher altitudes due to there being less resistance from the thinner air. However, you reach a tipping point where the air becomes too thin to remain in flight without putting on higher amounts of engine power to remain up there.
      Typically, airliners will have a service ceiling in the late 30 thousands to the early 40 thousands. Executive jets can reach the late 40 thousands, whilst Concorde sat at around 60 thousand.
      I hope that helps.
      Cheers Peter

  5. Fred

    The cutaway drawing is the biggest waste of artist talent I’ve come across in a long time when it comes to aircraft cutaway drawings. It shows the A380 as a triple-decker, with cargo stowage underneath three passenger decks. The A380 can only be considered a triple-decker if you INCLUDE the cargo hold – There are two passenger decks above the cargo hold on the real thing, not three.

    1. Pisquali

      Yes I understand what you are saying. It was an early concept drawing which highlighted what some airlines might do with the space below the main deck. There were all sorts of ideas about cabins, lounges and other luxury options that airlines might order.

      The reality of course is that economics takes over. Much like the Boeing 747 first class lounge upstairs in the bubble, it must give way to bottoms in seats and cargo below.

      It was nice to dream though and pretend fuel was as cheap as it used to be.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers Peter

  6. Dale

    Very informative and interesting stats!

    Slight correction however,, The a380 engines test bed was fitted to an a340-600 not a -300 as stated

    1. Pisquali

      Hi and thank you for stopping by We appreciate any comments or insights that our visitors can give and your comment about the A380’s Trent 900 initial test bed is no different. We strive to make sure that our facts are correct and have rechecked our infomation. Several sources, including Airbus’ own press releases, concur that the initial test bed was in fact an Airbus A340-311, registration F-WWAI. I you click on this link you can see a picture of the aircraft taxying. It is really quite a bizare sight.

      All the best, regards Peter

    1. Pisquali

      Hi, that’s a great question. The fuel used by the Airbus A380 is either JP 4 or JP 5 jet fuel. Basically this is kerosene with special additives to prevent water and icing. There are international standards around the composition of the fuel so airlines can confidently fuel at any airport.

      Cheers Peter

    1. Pisquali

      Thanks for stopping by and that’s a good question.

      There are several parts to the answer as you can imagine, as the heights of both decks vary dependant on the weight of the aircraft. Just like your car, if you load it up with people and suitcases you will notice it riding lower on its suspension and tyres. So too the A380 rides lower when it is full of fuel freight and passengers. In addition, the A380, like most aircraft, sits on the ground with slightly nose down attitude, so the heights of the decks also vary forward and aft.

      Having said that, the measurements are as follows:

      A380 Deck Heights above the ground.
      Forward Doors
      Upper Deck range – 7.85 metres (25ft 9in) – 8 metres (26ft 3in)
      Lower Deck range – 5.09 metres (16 ft 8in) – 5.23 metres (17ft 2in)

      Rear Doors
      Upper Deck range – 7.92 metres (25ft 11in) – 8.11 metres (26ft 7in)
      Lower Deck range – 5.18 metres (16ft 11in) – 5.37 metres (17ft 4in)

      I hope that answers your question.

      Don’t forget to Like us.

      Cheers Peter

    1. Pisquali

      a good question. The fuel used by the Airbus A380 is either JP 4 or JP 5 jet fuel. This is kerosene with special additives to prevent water and icing. International standards around the composition of the fuel ensures that airlines can confidently fuel at any airport.

      Cheers Peter

  7. Mark Cameron

    Ok a couple of facts: The fuel used by the A380 is the same as pretty much all modern airliners, there is no ‘special fuel’ only used for the A380 (THE SR71/A12 was the only jet engined aircraft with a special fuel – JP7 AFAIK). The following fuels are approved in the FCOM:
    Jet A1, Jet A, JP5, JP8, RT, TS-1, No3 Jet Fuel.

    The aircraft attitude on the ground is flat, not nose down, that was an issue with the A330-A340. The height difference between fully loaded and empty is very minor, I will still bang my head on the belly when it is empty when I do the walk around.

    Maximum certified cruise pressure altitude is 43100 feet.

    The maximum weights have increased, there are two ‘flavours’:

    Maximum Taxi Weight 577000 kg
    Maximum Takeoff Weight 575000 kg
    Maximum Landing Weight 395000 kg

    Maximum Taxi Weight 512000 kg
    Maximum Takeoff Weight 510000 kg
    Maximum Landing Weight 395000 kg

    Hope that helps.

  8. macdonald

    i have never been on a plane before, but something keeps telling me this is one of the best aeroplanes there is so far…keep up the good work…cheers

    1. Pisquali

      Hi MacDonald,

      Thank you for dropping us a message. Hopefully you get to fly the A380 one day soon. Enjoy it when you do.

      Cheers Peter


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