Emirates are celebrating having their fiftieth Airbus A380 in service with the release of footage showing how 800 workers across Europe came together to build the biggest passenger jet in the sky in just 80 days.
The aircraft fuselage is produced in Airbus HQ in Hamburg, Germany while the wing sections are made in the UK – and the entire aircraft is put together in Toulouse in France.
Given the size of the parts, the fuselage and wings are transferred through a transportation network that includes three specially-commissioned ships needed to carry the sections through Europe.
In case you’re wondering, more than 10,000 bolts are used just to connect the components of the fuselage, and over 4,000 for the wings.
After assembly, which takes another hefty bucket of bolts, each of the five sections of the fuselage are tested by engineers, and then the aircraft is painted – taking 30 people 10 days using to paint the equivalent of seven basketball courts using 500kg of paint.
The cabin furnishing is then complete, customised in this case to Emirates’ on-board facilities, layouts and furnishing.
Another thirty-three days are taken to complete all the trimmings across the 550 square metre cabin area. This includes all seats with in-flight entertainment screens, galleys, crew rest areas, the First Class shower-spa and private suites in First (which we probably won’t ever see!) down to the life-jackets.
Ninety more A380s will be delivered by Airbus to Emirates in the coming years, with a few lucky planes flying the longest route flown by the A380: Dubai (DXB) – Los Angeles (LAX) – some 13,414 kilometres taking around 16 hours 20 mins.