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Technology

Setting new standards

Greener, cleaner, quieter and smarter, the A380 is setting new benchmarks for the global aviation industry with its superior efficiency, profitability and operational effectiveness.

Not only is it setting new passenger comfort standards, the A380 also is raising the bar for environmental standards with its low fuel consumption and noise levels – as well as reduced CO2 and NOx emissions.

The A380’s cockpit – which is based on Airbus’ industry-leading flight deck design for its fly-by-wire jetliner families – features the latest advances in cockpit technology, including larger interactive displays, an advanced flight management system and improved navigation modes.


Enhanced awareness

The A380's main instrument panel incorporates eight identical and interchangeable Liquid Crystal Display Units, providing a primary flight display, navigation display, two multi-function displays, an engine warning display and a systems display. Their increased display size provides improved situational awareness for pilots, and allows for such enhanced presentation modes as a vertical situation awareness function that presents a “vertical cut” of the aircraft trajectory incorporating flight path, terrain and weather information.

A key A380 innovation is the use of an electronic library to largely replace the traditional paper documentation used by pilots. This library allows flight and maintenance crews to easily locate relevant operational information in the various flight manuals, lists and logbooks, while enabling an optimisation of performance and weight-and-balance computations.

Optimised landing performance

Airbus introduced its innovative Brake to Vacate technology on the A380, which allows the flight crew to more effectively manage the approach and landing and to pre-select the optimum runway exit.  This can reduce runway occupancy time by up to 30 per cent – significantly increasing the number of aircraft that can be handled by the world’s airports.

Two new-generation engine options (the Engine Alliance GP7200 and Rolls-Royce Trent 900), combined with an advanced wing and landing gear design make the A380 significantly quieter than today's largest airliner – enabling this very large aircraft to meet strict local regulations at airports around the world.

Advanced materials

By incorporating the latest advances in structures and materials, the A380 offers a direct operating cost per passenger that is 15 per cent lower than the competing large airliner. This includes the use of advanced aluminium alloys for the wing and fuselage, along with the extensive application of composite materials in the centre wing box’s primary structure, wing ribs, and rear fuselage section.

The A380 also uses Glare™ material in the pressurised fuselage’s upper and lateral shells.  Glare™ is a laminate incorporating alternate layers of aluminium alloy and glass fibre reinforced adhesive, with its properties optimised by adjusting the number of plies and orientation of the glass tapes.  This offers a significant reduction in weight and provides very good fatigue and damage resistance characteristics.

A380 reliability and maintainability is further increased through the use of new technologies such as an enhanced onboard central maintenance system and variable frequency generators – which simplify the large aircraft’s electrical generation network.  Hydraulic power is provided by two fully independent systems with an operating pressure of 5,000 psi., instead of the conventional 3,000 psi. This higher pressure results in smaller and lighter hydraulic system equipment, as well as less hydraulic fluid on board.

Designed-in efficiency

With a new wing design and composite materials accounting for 25 per cent of its structural weight, the A380 is a much more efficient aircraft all around.

By producing only about 75 grams of CO2 per passenger kilometre, the A380 is helping the aviation industry's commitment to minimise greenhouse gas emissions.

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Did you know?

Did you know?
  • The A380 is 15 tonnes lighter than it would be if made entirely of metal.
  • The 4400m2 surface of the A380 is covered in three layers of paint weighing around 500kg.
  • During take-off the A380 wing will flex upwards by over 4m.
  • The air in the A380 cabin is changed every 3 minutes, and the temperature can be selected between 18 and 30 degrees.

  • An A380 takes off or lands every five minutes.

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