Behind the scenes: building Emirates' 50th Airbus A380 superjumbo

By Chris Chamberlin, August 21 2014

It takes 800 factory workers between 65 and 80 days to assemble, install, test, paint, furnish and deliver an Emirates Airbus A380, with the airline recently taking the reins of its 50th superjumbo.

The bird’s fuselage is made in Hamburg before being transported to Airbus’ main base in Toulouse, France to begin the final assembly stage.

Also brought in from abroad are the wing sections – produced in the United Kingdom but shipped to Toulouse via Hamburg.

Three specially-commissioned ships help to transport parts such as the fuselage and wings from various production sites throughout Europe to Toulouse, where over 10,000 bolts are needed to assemble the fuselage and over 4,000 to join up the wings.

Once it’s all put together, it flies to Hamburg for painting and cabin furnishing – where a 30-man team takes approximately 10 days to paint the A380.

With a surface area of 3,150 square meters, that’s roughly the size of seven professional basketball courts and requiring over 500 kg of paint just to give the aircraft its white colour.

Assembling the interior is the final step, when all of the seats, galleys, crew rest areas, ‘shower spas’, inflight entertainment and the on board lounge are all kitted out and ready for service.

This two-minute video captures the entire process.

Emirates' 50-strong fleet of A380s currently flies to 29 destinations worldwide, including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia.

The ever-growing list will also include Frankfurt, Dallas, San Francisco and Houston from later this year.

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!


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