The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. It is the world's largest passenger airliner and, due to its size, many airports have had to upgrade their facilities to properly accommodate it. Initially named Airbus A3XX, the aircraft was designed to challenge Boeing's monopoly in the large-aircraft market; the A380 made its first flight on 27 April 2005 and began commercial service in October 2007 with Singapore Airlines.
Five A380s were built for testing and demonstration purposes. The first A380, serial number MSN001 and registration F-WWOW, was unveiled in Toulouse 18 January 2005. Its first flight took place at 10:29 am local time (08:29 UTC) on 27 April 2005. This plane, equipped with Trent 900 engines, flew from Toulouse Blagnac International Airport with a crew of six headed by chief test pilot Jacques Rosay. After landing, 3 hours 54 minutes later, Rosay said flying the A380 had been "like handling a bicycle".
The A380's upper deck extends along the entire length of the fuselage, with a width equivalent to a wide-body aircraft. This allows for an A380-800's cabin with 478 square metres (5,145.1 sq ft) of floor space; 49% more floor space than the next-largest airliner, the Boeing 747-400 with 321 square metres (3,455.2 sq ft), and provides seating for 525 people in a typical three-class configuration or up to 853 people in all-economy class configurations. The A380-800 has a design range of 15,400 kilometres (8,300 nmi; 9,600 mi), sufficient to fly from New York to Hong Kong, and a cruising speed of Mach 0.85 (about 900 km/h or 560 mph at cruising altitude).
As of November 2012 there had been 262 firm orders for the A380, of which 92 have been delivered. The largest order, for 90 aircraft, was from Emirates.
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