The Airbus A380 is the world's largest passenger airliner. Manufactured by the European Aeronautic Defence And Space Company (EADS), the double-deck, four-engine plane first flew in 2005 and entered commercial service in 2007. The superjumbo A380 offers 50 per cent more cabin area than its nearest competitor, the Boeing 747. In a single-class configuration, the A380 seats up to 853 passengers. As of July 2011, 51 Airbus A380s had been delivered to six airlines. Seventeen airlines currently have A380s on order.
With an advanced wing design and a structure composed of 25 per cent composite materials, the Airbus A380 delivers the lowest fuel burn per seat in the industry. It consumes up to 20 per cent less fuel than the Boeing 747. The 13 A380s now in service in Emirates Airlines' fleet report a fuel efficiency 30 per cent below the International Civil Aviation Organization fleet average.
Calculated on a basis of carbon dioxide emissions per passenger distance, the 1.25 million-pound Airbus A380 has a smaller carbon footprint than many automobiles. For each passenger kilometre travelled, the A380 produces 75 grams of carbon dioxide. This amount is not quite half the emissions goal set by the European Union for automobiles manufactured in Europe after 2008.
The four 70,000-pound thrust engines of the A380 comply with standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization's new stricter Stage 4 noise level regulations. The A380 produces 50 per cent less noise on take-off than a Boeing 747 and three to four times less noise while landing. Noise levels inside the double-deck cabin of the A380 are one-half that of any other long-haul airliner.
The larger passenger capacity of the A380 coupled with its longer range translates into less aircraft in the crowded skies as well as fewer take-offs and landings at overburdened airports. One fully loaded A380 removes as many as seven smaller airliners from the air traffic control system.
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