Airbus A380

Airbus A380

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Airbus A380 landing. The Airbus A380 is the largest passenger airliner, holding 555 passengers in two decks. Powered by four engines, its range is 14,800km. Approximately 25% of the aircraft is built from advanced composite materials: 22% carbon-fibre-reinforced-plastic (CFRP) and 3% GLARE, a glass fibre-aluminuim laminate. The A380 is the first commercial airliner to have a carbon fibre central wing box. These lightweight materials greatly reduce the weight of the craft, thus reducing emissions and running costs. The Airbus A380 will begin passenger flights in 2006. Photographed at the Paris Airshow, June 2005.

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