Feeds

Airbus behemoth faces the press

French inaugurate A380 assembly facility

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

This afternoon sees the inauguration of the Airbus 380 assembly plant in Toulouse, France, attended by no less than French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and 3000 staff and luminaries.

The A380

This is a big moment for a big aircraft: the A380 is a 73m (239ft) long double-decker monster designed to carry 555 passengers over 15,000km (8,000nm). The "envirnomentally-friendly" plane (less noise and fewer emissions than today's jumbos, the company boasts) will enter service in 2006 with Singapore airlines, and Airbus already has 129 orders on its books with whole terminus of major players - Air France, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic Airways included.

Naturally, a giant of the skies needs a production facility to match. Components for the A380 are built at various European locations, then flown to Toulouse to be bolted together. According to Airbus: "The assembly building is one of the largest in the world, measuring 490m by 250 m, with a height of 46 m. It is the largest of several buildings on the site which, together, incorporate more than 32,000 tonnes of steel - the equivalent of four Eiffel towers or the Millau viaduct - plus 250,000 cubic metres of concrete."

For those enthusiasts who cannot wait until 2006 to train their binoculars on the 560-tonne leviathan, here are a few tasty specs to be going on with:

  • Overall Length: 239ft 3in - 73m
  • Cabin Length: 166ft 3in - 50.68m
  • Max. Cabin Width Main Deck: 21ft 7in - 6.58m
  • Max. Cabin Width Upper Deck: 19ft 5in - 5.92m
  • Height: 79ft 7in - 24.1m
  • Wheelbase: 99ft 8in - 30.4m

More technical info is available here. ®

Bootnote

We are reliably informed that the A380 wings are too large to be transported by air and are therefore shifted by road, river and sea from the UK. Thanks to Richard Dudley for the correction.

Related stories

Wright Brothers' centenary provokes aviation speculationfest

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds
Space rock appears out of nowhere, buzzes planet on Sunday
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Square Kilometre Array reveals its 1.6TB-a-day storage and network rigs
Boolardy Engineering Test Array - aka BETA - is about to come out of Beta
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.