A magnificent Airbus A380 superjumbo was under construction in France. It is, however, made of four million parts from 30 different countries. Airbus A380 is the world’s largest passenger airliner. But its era is ending due to the pandemic.
In France, they have recently completed the assembly of the last ever superjumbo. However, it was announced in 2019 that the European airplane manufacturers are discontinuing the plane.
The Singapore Airlines was the first to place an order for the superjumbo in 2007. Since then more than 240 A380s have been delivered.
However, the assembly of the final double-decker jet, serial number 272, is nearly ending. Leaving the manufacturing station 40 out of work.
It’s now off to station 30, where Airbus media relations manager Anne Galabert says. They will install the engines and will carry out tests on electrical and hydraulic systems. Moreover, they will also check the on-board computers, landing gear, and moving parts.
“The final tests are performed outside,” she says — with the checks including fuel gauge calibration, cabin pressurization, radios, radar, navigation systems, and fuel tank sealing — and “the aircraft is then prepared for flight.”
After all the installments and tests the aircraft will make its first test flight to Hamburg, Germany. There they will install the cabin and fit it out and will paint the plane in the customer’s livery: Emirates Airlines.
The last convoy to the Final Assembly Line (FAL) took place in February this year, with hundreds turning out in the French village of Levignac to see the wings, fuselage sections, and horizontal tailplane transported by truck.
The Making of A380
Assembling the A380 is a massive task. There are 1,500 companies that take part in manufacturing all the individual parts, from rivets to bolts, to seats and engines.
Fuselage sections came from Hamburg, Germany, and Saint-Nazaire, France. Whereas, they manufacture the horizontal tailplane in Cadiz, Spain. And the vertical tail fin was also from Hamburg. The parts’ pilgrimage to France was made by road, sea, and air.
The Toulouse facility is also the site of the Airbus corporate HQ and flight test department. And where single-aisle A320s and wide-body A330 and A350s are built.
This A380 was for Emirates Airlines and after completing it they will be delivering it to the airline. However, Emirates is Airbus A380’s biggest customer. There is one more A380 that the manufacturing company will deliver to the Japanese carrier ANA.
The cost of this Airbus A380 was $25 billion. And it has a capacity of up to 853 passengers, it’s the largest civil airliner in history.