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Airbus A380
Airbus A380 VS Boeing 747-8
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To compete with the Airbus A380, Boeing has constructed a new version of their ageing 747 - the 747-8. Here, the A380 and 747-8's specifications are compared with each other.
 
Airbus A380
 
Engines: Four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 turbofans or four General Electric/Pratt & Whitney GP-7200 turbofans

Typical cruising speed: Mach 0.85 (850 km/h)

Range: 14,800 km (8,000 nm)

Max takeoff weight: 560,000 kg (1,234,600 lb)

Wingspan: 79.8m (261 ft 10 in)

Length: 72.75m (238 ft 8 in)

Passenger seating: 555 passengers on two decks in a three-class arrangement, and up to 800 passengers in a one-class arrangement

Cost: About $250 million US

 
 
 
Boeing 747-8
 
Engines: Four GEnx-2B67 turbofans

Typical cruising speed: Mach 0.855 (855 km/h)

Range: 14,815 km (8,000 nm)

Max takeoff weight: 435,456 kg (960,000 lb)

Wingspan: 68.5 m (224 ft 9 in)

Length: 74.2 m (243 ft 6 in)

Passenger seating: 450 passengers in a typical three-class configuration

Cost: About $205 million to $240 million US

Boeing 747-8 alongside a Boeing 747-8F (Freighter). Computer-generated image.

The 747-8 has the advantage over the A380 in cruise speed and range, but also very slightly. The 747-8 is also a lot smaller. Many airports are widening their taxiways and hangars to fit the A380. The 747-8 is basically the same size as the 747-400, except it has increased performance.

However, the A380 can seat many more passengers than the 747-8 - the most of any commercial airliner ever created. The running costs are also expected to be lower than those of the 747-8, which may make airline ticket prices lower. Add to that the brand-new features that make the A380 seem like less of a cramped, commercial airliner and more like a luxurious cruise ship - lounges, bars, gymnasiums, duty-free stores and even a salon. The seats are also more spread-out, even for economy class.

The 747-8's price is also considerably lower than the A380's - but for the extra $10 million or so airliners will be able to get a lot more, and their passengers will have a much more comfortable flight.

Add to that the A380 has about 100 more seats than the 747-8.

Overall, passengers will prefer to fly on the A380 more than they will prefer to fly on the 747-8, even if it means spending a little longer in the aircraft.