Airbus A-380 - The Largest Plane in the World


The Airbus A380 is the largest passenger plane that has ever been built. It can carry more passengers and cargo than any other airplane and its designers say that it uses less fuel and make less noise.

The A 380 is a giant in the skies. Its wings span about 80 metres and it has a length of 73 metres. When filled with passengers the A 380 weighs over 500 000 kg. It has three decks - two passenger decks and one for cargo. Up to 840 passengers can fly on the plane if all the seats are built in it.

Up to now, the biggest plane was the Boeing 747 which could carry 416 passengers. Designers have used special materials to keep the plane light. Plane makers say that the engines are very low in noise - they produce about half the sound of other engines.

The A 380 can fly about 13,000 km non-stop. The plane can reach destinations on other continents without refuelling.



The A 380 is so big that putting it together causes some problems. It is not built in one place. The parts of the plane come from all over Europe and are put together at the Airbus headquarters in southern France.

In the early 1990s Airbus started to design a plane that could compete with Boeing’s 747. In 2000 the first airlines ordered the new plane and in January 2005 the first Airbus A 380 was finished. The new Airbus made its first commercial flight with Singapore Airlines. It flew from Singapore to Sydney on 25 October 2007. Over 6000 people worked on the project and up to now 14 airlines have already ordered the A 380.

There are, however, problems such a big plane may cause. Are airports big enough for the plane to take off and land or can airlines sell enough tickets to fill the plane ?

Testing has shown that the A 380 does not need longer runways. But airports may have problems getting people on and off the huge planes. Waiting lines may be very long and passengers could wait for their baggage for some time.

Airbus Industries says the A 380 will focus on big airports like London, New York or Hong Kong where many people travel to the same city.



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Downloadable PDF Text- and Worksheets



  • airlines = a company that takes passengers to different places
  • baggage = the bags and suitcases a person takes with him on a trip
  • cargo = the goods that are transported on a plane or ship
  • carry = to take with you
  • cause = lead to
  • commercial = flight that carries real passengers who have to pay
  • compete = to be as good as or better than
  • designer = someone who plans an object
  • destination = a place that someone or something is going to
  • engine = the part of a plane that produces power and energy to make it move
  • fuel = the liquid that is needed to power a car, train or plane
  • focus = concentrate on
  • headquarters = the home town of a company. Most of its workers are here
  • however = but
  • huge = very big
  • length =how long something is
  • passenger = a person who is travelling on a plane, boat, car etc..
  • reach = get to
  • refuel = to fill up a plane and continue with a journey
  • runway = the place where a plane lands and takes off
  • span =to go from one place to another
  • weigh =how heavy something is