Feeds

Airbus behemoth faces the press

French inaugurate A380 assembly facility

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
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.