November 12, 2007 / 1:31 PM / in 11 years

FACTBOX-Sizing up the Airbus A380 double-decker

Nov 12 (Reuters) - Airbus EAD.PA on Monday named Prince Alwaleed bin Talal as the first private buyer of an A380 superjumbo, the world’s largest passenger airliner. For related stories, please double click on [AIRSHOW-RTRS-LEN].

Here are some key facts on how the plane measures up:

* The A380 double-decker is the length of eight buses and has enough room on its wings to park 70 cars.

* The plane is 15 metres wider, four metres taller, two metres longer and 118 tonnes heavier than the Boeing (BA.N) 747-400, which has reigned as the largest airliner for four decades.

* With first class, business and economy cabins, the A380 will seat 555 passengers. A stretched version expected to be developed in future could seat more than 1,000 passengers.

* Cocktail bars, casinos, showers, libraries and sleeping quarters for staff are among the novel ways airlines could use the A380’s space.

* A wingspan of 79.8 metres (261ft 10in) means the A380 is too large for most airport docking bays. UK-based airport operator BAA alone has budgeted 450 million pounds ($917.8 million) to build larger facilities to handle the planes.

* At take-off the A380’s four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines will generate as much thrust as 3,500 cars. An alliance between GE and Pratt & Whitney is also supplying engines.

* The A380 is the second biggest plane ever built, topped only by the six-engine Antonov An-225 Mriya cargo plane, of which only two have been built.

* Howard Hughes’s ill-fated Spruce Goose flying boat, which flew once in 1947 and was designed to carry 750 troops, had a wider wingspan to incorporate its eight engines but was shorter than the A380.

* The plane has cost 12 billion euros ($17.1 billion) to develop. Airbus says it needs to sell 420 to recover its costs, while some brokerage analysts put the figure much higher.

* The A380 has a list price of $319.2 million and is aimed at competing with the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, the latest version of the jumbo. (Sources: Reuters/Airbus) (Writing by David Cutler and Jason Neely; Editing by David Holmes)

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