Mastodont of the skies - The Airbus A380

(Photo: Terence Ong.)
Since its first test flight in 2005, the Airbus A380 has been the undisputed mastodont of the skies. Of course, Howard Hughes' "Spruce Goose" had longer wing span, the Airbus A340-600 has a longer fuselage and the Antonov An-225 is the worlds heaviest aircraft. But when it comes to moving the biggest numbers of passengers, the A380 is the airliner. A bit on the side here, but the most passengers ever to squeeze together on one flight, was during Operation Solomon in 1991, when Israel evacuated Ethiopian Jews from Ethiopia. 1086 people were airlifted at once in a Boeing 747!

Being a modern airliner, the Airbus A380 is stuffed with technology, the cockpit is literally wall-to-wall carpeted with knobs and screens. In true Airbus tradition, the cockpit shares a lot of commonality with the other airplane models in the Airbus family. Of course, a pilot has to have a special rating to be able to pilot the gigantic A380, but pilots flying one of the smaller Airbus models will be familiar with the general layout of the cockpit.

In the video below you can get a guided tour in the Airbus A380 cockpit, by Lufthansa's chief pilot Juergen Raps. Amazing!

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