Luxury in the sky

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/16 22:46:25 Last Updated: 2017/11/18 7:50:32

A380 adopts latest technology for unique passenger experience


Photo: Courtesy of Airbus

A view of the interior of Emirates' A380 onboard lounge Photo: Courtesy of Airbus

Since its entry into service in October 2007, the Airbus 380 (A380) has won praise from passengers with its excellent cabin comfort and reliability.

With the latest technologies in materials, systems and other aspects, the new model provides a unique passenger experience with wider seats, more personal space, and a quieter and smoother flight.

After boarding the new aircraft, passengers will be instantly impressed by the plane's fantastic lighting system. They can adjust cabin mood lighting according to different times and needs to create a unique atmosphere.

The aircraft offers more than 5,000 light scenarios inside the cabin such as starry sky, music hall and cinema effects using a wide choice of fluorescent and LED technology, according to Airbus.

Moreover, it is equipped with 220 windows, including some larger ones to make full use of natural light.

For a better passenger experience, the new A380 cabin adopts a state-of-the-art fiber-optic in-flight entertainment (IFE) system, providing more than 1,200 entertainment options, including movies, video games and TV programs.

According to airlines, other facilities can also be equipped onboard the aircraft, such as a barbershop, a massage room and sleeping berths.

Compared with the usual use of four air inlets, the new A380 is installed with six air inlets for quiet, draught-free cabin air delivery.

The aircraft also has the lowest number of passengers per temperature control zone of any aircraft flying today and is split into 15 different zones, temperatures of which can vary between 18 and 30 C.  

Wider, quieter

As the largest commercial passenger aircraft flying today, the A380 carries 575 passengers in a four-class configuration. Overall, the A380's two levels offer a combined deck with more floor surface than the largest twin-engine aircraft.

The two passenger decks of the new A380 have a total area of 550 square meters - equivalent to three tennis courts - with the usable floor area measuring 50 percent higher than the Boeing 747-400.

The aircraft is designed for efficient cabin segmentation to generate high revenues.

When we enter the year 2021, the growth, the congestion and the lack of runway development means the A380 will be a success, Peter Bellew, CEO of Malaysia Airlines, was quoted as saying in March 2017.

As of the end of October this year, Airbus had won 317 A380 net orders from 18 customers around the globe, representing a whopping 90 percent share of the Very Large Aircraft (VLA) market, data from Airbus showed.

To make full use of cabin space, an updated trash contractor has been installed onboard the new aircraft, which can condense waste into a very small container.

Despite being much bigger than other aircraft, the A380 is much quieter, reducing noise for residents living near airport fields. The A380's wing area is 845 square meters, 54 percent more than that of Boeing's 747-400. This enables the A380 to land at 350 kilometers per hour compared to the Boeing 747-400 at its maximum landing weight of 386 tons, according to a document Airbus sent to the Global Times on Sunday.

Compared to the 747-400, the A380 produces half the noise pollution when taking off and one quarter when landing, times when noise reduction is important, said the document.

As such, the new A380 offers simple and cost-effective solutions for airports and airlines to breed more traffic while reducing the noise impact on local communities.

Regarding weight saving, composites are used in the new aircraft's intelligent airframe.

A total of around 25 percent is made up of advanced composites, with 22 percent being carbon, glass or fiber-reinforced plastic and 3 percent glass or fiber-reinforced aluminum laminates, a material used in civil aircraft for the first time, noted the document.

Composites were used for the first time when manufacturing the center wing box of the aircraft, a crucial part that connects airfoil with the airframe. And composites were also used in the rear fuselage.

Stronger, lighter 

Apart from state-of-the-art technologies adopted for cabin comfort, new technologies are also used in the system and manufacturing to improve safety while also reducing weight.

The new A380 aircraft adopts a hydraulic system of 5,000 pounds per square inch, compared with the average use of a 3,000-pounds-per-square-inch system, the former can provide more power while at the same time being lighter, as the increase in pressure means smaller tubes and hydraulic components can transmit more power.

For the first time, A380's control system adopts two hydraulic systems and two electric power systems instead of only three or four hydraulic systems. Hence, pilots can operate the aircraft even if all hydraulic systems fail, which ensures passenger safety.

Several innovative manufacturing technologies were also applied when building the new A380 aircraft. For example, the skin of the lower fuselage is welded with laser instead of rivets, which solves such problems as corrosion and abrasion while also relieving aerodynamic resistance.

The new A380 aircraft also has an advanced control cabin, which is installed with interactive display, a flight information system as well as an integrated avionics system that is connected by high-capacity Ethernet.


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