Airbus has assembled its last enormous double-decker aircraft called the A380. The largest passenger plane in the world just underwent initial assembly at a production facility in Toulouse, France. However, the company announced last year that the giant airplane will be phased out.
Building the A380
The manufacturer completed the initial assembly of the last Airbus A380 with serial number 272. The next step would involve the installation of engines. Moreover, they will carry out tests for the electrical and hydraulic systems, on-board computers, landing gear, and moving parts, CNN Travel reports.
— Aviation Toulouse (@Frenchpainter) September 23, 2020
Afterward, the aircraft will enter an initial test flight in Hamburg, Germany. Here, more furnishing will take place, like installing the cabin and painting the insignia of Emirates Airlines, the one who ordered the plane.
The Largest Passenger Aircraft
According to CNN, the manufacture of the Airbus A380 required over 1,500 companies for the individual components like the engine. Actually, the gigantic fleet needed over four million parts coming from 30 different countries.
Furthermore, the development of the A380 amounted to $25 billion. Particularly, it can carry 853 passengers at a time. Airbus has produced 242 of the enormous aircraft. According to Forbes, 204 of the planes remain parked as of August, not accounting for the retired ones.
The Last A380
However, last year, the company announced that it will discontinue the production of the A380. In February of last year, Airbus chief executive Tom Enders said the decision to phase out the double-decker hurt them. “We’ve invested a lot of effort, a lot of resources, and a lot of sweat into this aircraft.”
Airbus introduced the first-ever A380 more than a decade ago, for Singapore Airlines. Back then, Airbus expected to deliver 600, but it only managed 234, especially with the low demand for air travel in this pandemic. Besides, expected demand like the pre-pandemic may remain several years away.
Additionally, the company now wants to produce planes that require efficient fuel use. Recently, Airbus revealed plans to make aircraft powered by hydrogen, a much cleaner fuel.