Airbus A380 Specs

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. Of course these amenities are all very well at the conceptual stage, but economic pressures add a bit of a reality check and to date no airline has added these amenities, save for First Class cabins on Emirates and Singapore Airlines.

In April 2018 Airbus announced plans to offer passenger sleeping berth modules that would be able to be slotted into the cargo hold. These modules would be able to be inserted and removed just like cargo containers and could be slotted in for certain legs of a flight. As well as sleeping berths there could be options to slot in conference rooms, lounge areas, to name a few. We feel that economics will somehow come back into play and that the airline company accountant might be hard pressed to find a justification for leaving cargo behind in favour of some added passenger comfort. Unless of course the airline can convince their travelling public to pay enough of a premium for these extra services.

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. Also notice the droop of the wings, they are very full of fuel for a long haul flight. During the take off run as the wings start to create lift you will see them start to flex up as they take the weight of the aircraft.

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. Refueling 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 Metres
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 de-rated 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.

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61 thoughts on “Airbus A380 Specs”

      • 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)

        • 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

    • 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

      • 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.

        • 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

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

    • 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.

  2. 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…

    • 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.

  3. 3:32am
    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.

    • 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

  4. 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.

    • Hi,
      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

  5. Very informative and interesting stats!

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

    • 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

  6. What type of fuel do they run on?
    Do they produce noise pollution?
    What type of materials were used to make the exterior/ what type of metal was used?
    Does it have many environmental impacts, or is it efficient? What are its emissions?
    Sorry I just want to know the environmental aspects of the plane.


    • 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

    • Hi,
      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

    • Hi,
      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. 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. 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

    • 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

  9. The question regarding the wing area of the Airbus A 380. Is listed value of 845 m2, includes only the front wings? What is the surface of the rear wing? I pray for the quick response. S, Regards! Vladimir Duboka, graduate ski machines engeener.Emailto:vdinv:

    • Hi Vladimir,

      Thank you for your question. I have to admit this is a hard one to find any answer to. I will continue to search and add it here if I find it.

      Cheers Peter

  10. Hi,
    Nice article and respect for the informative responses to readers questions, not a standard seen often enough so good work.
    I would like some information if anyone has time to help, Specifically on the fuel cells which from memory totals 11.? Along the wings and Rear wing undercarriage area. Any idea of approximate capacities per location.?
    Total fuel capacity 322,000 litres, Using Density of 775 G/L gives Approx. Weight 249.55 Tonne, would this be correct or like school I failed??
    Any feedback would be appreciated.

    • Hi Fritz,

      Great to see you here. That is a good question about the fuel cells. I find there are 10 cells, 4 in each of the main wings and 1 each in each stabiliser on the empenage. They are specifically:

      Main Wings.
      Inner Tank – 46,140 Litres
      Mid Tank – 39,460 Litres
      Feed Tank – 27,960 Litres
      Outer Tank – 10,520 Litres

      Trim Tank – 23,700 Litres

      Of course these are times 2 for each side of the aircraft.

      I hope that helps and you get something to eat soon.

      Cheers Peter

      • Hi i think your figures are of as adding yours together and multiplying by two as you say gives 295560 liters, stated capacity is 320000 liters

        • Hi Stoyan,
          I think we covered the fuel volumes further back. The wing volumes have proved to be a bit of challenge and I haven’t found anything yet. If anyone has any information please free to chime in with your findings here.
          Cheers Peter

  11. What is the date of your data, especially price? It would be useful to have a date annotated and last updated. Many thanks

  12. I have a question, can you please tell me how many litres of fuel can be put in ONE wing of the plane? And what is the total volume in cubic metres of ONE wing, including everything that is on the wing like winglet, flaps, wheel well, etc. (without the engines)

  13. I think in the picture, when refuring to fuel, or fuel cell, I think it means air (oxygen) and air tank. The Only way I can see that the suggested volume of fuel could fit in the 10 tanks, If fuel was air not petroleum. The weight of 320000 ltrs of petroleum fuel would literally break the wings of the plane in my opinion. I think they use petroleum fuel to take off, then once they get up to speed and /or attitude run themselves (on oxygen)

    • Hi Deana,

      Thank you for visiting Modern Airliners.
      You pose a very interesting question, one that, like most things in aviation, doesn’t have a simple answer. Let’s try and make it as simple as possible.

      There are 5 main variants of the 747, the 100, 200, 300, 400 and the 8. Whilst there are variations between the performance of these variants due to improved engine performance and aerodynamics the principals are much the same.

      There are 5 distinct phases of of a flight where fuel burn is quite different. These are taxying, departure and arrival, take off, climb, cruise and descent. To each of these we need to add variables such as payload, that is passengers and cargo. Also the length of the flight. The longer the flight the more fuel you need. It adds to the overall weight of the aircraft. In some cases you need to leave payload behind so as to be able to be able to take enough fuel to get to where you’re going.
      Weather is another factor, as well as the altitude of the departing airfield. These are important due to air pressure. Thinner air requires more power to get airborne and therefore more fuel. Departure from busy airports can also have an adverse effect. You may have to queue up for take off during which time your engines are at idle or slightly higher but never the less burning fuel. Once you do get airborne, you may not get to your desired altitude as quickly as you would like due to air traffic restrictions.
      Our 747 operates at its optimum when it is cruising at high altitude. Jet engines are designed to work in the thinner air where the friction holding back our aircraft is far less than at sea level. So we want to get up there as fast as possible. On longer flights we may have to do it in steps. For example, initial climb to FL310 (31,000 feet) then after a few hours continue on up to the late 30s. This is because we are initially too heavy to go higher, but after a few hours we burn off enough fuel which makes us lighter and able to climb higher.
      The descent at the end of a flight is essentially a glide. Engines on idle, other than the landing where the flaps and wheels are creating enough drag for us to need some thrust to prevent stalling. Most airfields have high speed exit ramps from the runway so that the momentum from the landing roll can help the aircraft get to the gate with minimal power applied. Sometimes half the engines can be shut down for this taxi phase.
      So some ball park figures:

      Let’s understand that 1 litre of Jet A1 fuel weighs around 80% of 1 litre of fresh water. With that in mind some ball park figures around a flight on a Boeing 747 weighing around 377,000kgs are as follows:

      Taxi out to the runway – 1,000kg
      Take-off and climb to initial cruise – 15,000kg
      First hours at 31,000′ – 13,000kg per hour
      Latter part of the cruise at around 39,000′ – slightly under 10,000kg per hour
      Descent, approach and landing – 3,000kg
      Taxi to the gate – 500kg to 1,000kg.

      At the time of writing Jet A1 fuel was at around $0.55US per litre.

      I hope that helps.

      Cheers Peter

    • Hi Andy,

      you’re right, the weight pf the fuel onboard a fully laden aircraft is significant. If you ever see one about to head off for long haul flight, you’ll notice the wings are seriously drooping down. Full of fuel and two heavy engines the wings take a serious load. It just goes to show the strength built into those massive wings. But the advantage of having the weight of engines and fuel on wings is that during flight, those same wings are creatng the lift and therefore the load of fuel and engines is directly supported. If you look for instance at an aircraft like the Boeng 727 or MD80, the engines are on the fuselage and therefore make the whole fuselage, which creates no lift, much heavier. The wing attachment to the aircraft has to be much more robust in this case becasue of the extra no lift creating weight.

      Ok, so back to the fuel actually used on most aircraft. Jet fuel or more specificly Jet A1 fuel is a type of kerosene. If you want to compare the weight of Jet A1 with fresh water for example, you’ll find it weighs around 80% of the same volume of water. The petroleum you mentioned actually weighs about 73.7% of the same volume of water.

      The oxygen cylinders you see are actually for the emergency oxygen masks for crew and passengers in the event of decompression of the aircraft. The cyclinders hold enough for everyone to breath for long enough to allow the aircraft to reach a safe altitude of around 10,000 feet where the air is breathable.

      I hope that amkes things clearer for you.

      Cheers Peter

  14. Hello : Good article. It is a wonderful plane to fly on as long as you choose routes that are capable of handling them at airports.
    I am curious to know if there are galley facilities in the cargo hold area? The ones you see in cabin areas surely are not capable of dealing with a fully loaded economy class ?


    • Hi Lars,

      Yes you’re right on both points. Not all airports are capable of handling the A380, but of course the A380 due its carrying capacity generally is used for high volume destinations where airports are already designed to handle heavy jets.
      You are also right regarding the galley. The main galley where meals are heated etc. Is located at the cargo deck level. From here they are sent up to the main decks in the trolleys we all see, by elevator.
      Happy flying and thanks for stopping by.
      Cheers Peter

  15. Technically spoken, the A380 is a wonderful machine, I won’t deny that.
    But what a terrible waste, mostly for needless holidays! Most people flying to the other side of the earth, don’t even know the beauty of their own country.
    In my opinion this is an irresponsible way of (mis)using the limited amount of fossil fuel on a large scale.
    But no doubt I’m preaching to deaf ears.

    • Hi Mijnheer de Bruin,
      thank you for stopping by. I know what you mean and there is great truth in what you say. We are quite shameless in the way we consume resources in today’s world and that just seems to be the kind of animal we are. Like anything in today’s world, if there is a way to make a dollar out of something then someone will be there to do it and plane makers are no different. There is a market there to be satisfied, so they make sure they develop the best tools possible to meet that market demand. To their credit, many billions of dollars have been poured into research to enable modern airliners to fly more efficiently and cleaner than ever before. Take the Boeing 747 which brought air travel to the common man. Back in 1969, her engines and those of other aircraft of that era left huge amounts of pollution behind them. Things have come a long way since then. Today’s aircraft, like the A380, have highly developed engines which enable much higher fuel efficiency as well as producing a much cleaner burn. The result is that the Super Jumbo is able to move a person from A to B much more cheaply and with a much smaller pollution footprint than was possible in the past. Additionally, tests are being done on most aircraft types at the moment to establish the viability of biofuels.
      I don’t think we have the ability to change the way people want to live their lives. It may well be a case of, people want to go out and do these things while they can, the possibility might not always be there. In addition, a high percentage of those travelling are doing so on business, keeping the economic powerhouse turning over.
      It’s a complicated world, that is for sure.

      de groeten


    • Selamat Datang Nuratika,

      in the table above we give the maximum weights as well as the different passenger loads depending on the configuration. That is whether it is for high density all economy or a typical 3 class configuration. Also the volume of cargo. Any mix of these factors will, of course, affect the range an aircraft can fly, along with other weather-related conditions. The range as stated above is around 15,000 kilometres which relates to around 16 hours in the air.

      I hope that helps.

      Terimah kaseh


  16. hi
    for a uni project i need a performance data of a380
    sth more that this
    CL max chart
    stall speed etc.
    who can help me?
    some aircrafts have pdf

    • Hi Reza,

      yes you’re right. Airline makers usually provide a PDF with more detailed information. The A380 is no different. Just click on A380 access the PDF.
      Good luck with your assignment and don’t forget to share us.
      Cheers Peter

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