DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky
March 2, 2024
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The maiden flight of the A380 occurred ten years ago this week, with entry into commercial service two years later. With lower than expected sales, program has been labeled as unsuccessful by some, despite a strong and profitable operation with Emirates, the largest customer for the type. Let’s examine the history and potential future of the A380, and examine whether changes in the market favor or limit the attractiveness of the airplane.

The history of the A380 is somewhat checkered, as the program got off on the wrong foot with a delay that required rewiring of early aircraft because different versions of the CATIA design software were used in France and Germany. One group had upgraded to the latest release, and certain elements were incompatible between versions, resulting in the length of the wires for the aircraft coming up short of what was needed. This required re-wiring these aircraft, and a substantial delay to the program because of this tedious manual task, which included making certain that every wire was correctly placed and tested.