It’s bigger than a hot air balloon, it’s bigger than a helicopter,
and it’s bigger than an airplane…but wait, it is an airplane. It must be the new A380 Airbus.
The A380 Airbus is the largest plane ever built. Check this out:
From one wingtip to the other wingtip it is 261 feet 8
inches or 80 meters!
From the front nose to the back of the tail it is 239 feet 3
inches or 73 meters!
Its height from the ground is 79 feet 7
inches or 24 meters!
Its weight without passengers is 606,000 pounds or 274,877 kilograms!
Its number of landing wheels is 20!
Now that’s massive! Its hard to believe it can fly! But it does fly, and you may be surprised to learn that it can go over 10,000 miles
or 16,093 kilometers without refueling.
In the beginning of 2005, the A380 Airbus made its first flight. It will start regular service for passengers in March, 2006. The A380 Airbus can have up to 555 passengers. That is a hundred more than the next largest plane, the Boeing 747. The A380 Airbus has two levels that passengers can go on. Two staircases in the plane allow passengers to go up and down between the levels. Luggage will be stored in a third level on the bottom side of the airplane.
The A380 Airbus is causing some airports to make changes. Runways are normally 150 feet
wide (46 meters), but that is a little too small for the A380 Airbus. Airports are going to need to widen their runways to 200 feet
or 61 meters if they want the A380 Airbus to land there. About 60 airports have already started to do this. The airport in Los Angeles, California is going to spend over 50 million dollars to make changes.
The A380 Airbus took ten years to develop. The company that built it spent over 13 billion dollars on it.
One airline, Virgin Atlantic, wants to put a casino on their A380 Airbus. Can you believe that?
"AirbusA380 Information" 22 January 2005 <http://www.aircraft=info.net/aircraft/jet_aircraft/airbus/A380/>.
Knox, Noelle. "A380 makes massive debut" USA Today. 22 January 2005 <http://www.usatoday.com/money/biztravel/2005-01-16-a380-usat_x.htm?POE=MONISVA>.