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A double decker passenger airplaine designed by Airbus Industrie capable of carrying 555 passengers. Early on the plane was hyped being capable of having an onboard casino, gym, shops,and showers. Whether airlines will use that space for the aforementioned amenities or just slap in more seats-that-actually-make-money remains to be seen. If they do install a gym, bench pressing 250 during severe wind shear might not be advisable.

Over 12 billion USD was spent developing the A380 (formerly known as the A3XX) and much of that went into making sure that the plane could work with existing facilities designed for regular jumbo jets like the 747. For instance, because the A380 is much heavier than other airplanes special consideration had to be given to make sure the landing gear didn't smash through the runway. Wingspan also had to be kept to a minimum to allow the plane to fit into parking slots at airports, the tradeoff being that the A380 requires more runway to liftoff than the 747.

One of the biggest concerns that remains is airport turnover time. How quickly airports can get 550 people and their luggage on and off the airplane so it can get flying (and making money) again remains one of the unknowns.

The A380 will be the largest commercial aircraft currently in service, but not the largest ever built, that title is still held by the venerable Spruce Goose. First deliveries are scheduled for 2006. Air France, Emirates, Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic have all placed orders or options to buy the A380. The planes are expected to cost $US230 million each. Future stretched versions will be capable of carrying more than 650 passengers.

Span: 79.8 m / 261ft 10in
Length: 73 m / 239ft 6in
Height: 24.1 m / 79ft 1in
Seating Capacity: 555
Range: 14,800km / 8,000NM
Max Payload: 83 t / 183,000 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 310,000 L / 81,900 USGal
Take-Off Field Length:
Initial Cruise Altitude: FL350c Time & Distance to ICA: 30 min & 200 NM
Max Altitude Capability: FL430

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