Final Airbus A380 Wing Set To Leave Factory Tomorrow

The end of the Airbus A380 production cycle is soon approaching. The superjumbo is expected to have its last delivery next year. However, its final set of wings are already making their way out of Airbus’ production site in Broughton.

Airbus A380 Aircraft
The last wing of the Airbus A380 will leave its production site tomorrow. Photo: Airbus

High expectations

The widebody was introduced in 2007 with Singapore Airlines. There was a huge buzz around its launch with its impressive size and power. The double-decker holds a capacity of around 555 seats. However, it is certified for up to 853 passengers.

Despite its capabilities, the aircraft will cease production only 13 years after it first took flight with a commercial airline. This is because orders for the A380 started to become less prevalent.

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The cost of both the plane and the fuel to keep it running deterred many prospective operators. Therefore, last February, Airbus announced that the project will come to a close. Emirates is set to be the last customer of the jet, adding to its current holding of 115 A380s.

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Airbus A380 Interior
The interior of the A380 is simply a class of its own. Photo: Airbus

Intricate process

The aircraft’s production takes place across 16 sites. These wings have been constructed in the Welsh district of Broughton before being shipped to Toulouse, France. Broughton sits along Wales’ border with England, west of the city of Chester.

The Daily Post shared that the first of the last two wings left the site today. It was taken away on a barge on the River Dee. This was before it made its way to mainland Europe by boat.

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The Dee River Craft (DRC) Afon Dyfrdwy has been carrying the wings out of the plant. This is likely the last time that the vessel will be put to use in the district. Harbourmaster Captain S Capes spoke of the important event.

“It is likely that this will be the final A380 wing shipment and possibly the last time the DRC will be seen on the river,” Capes said, as reported by The Daily Post.

Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines was the launch customer for the A380 aircraft. Photo: Singapore Airlines

End of an era

In 2003, Airbus opened the wing plant, primarily for the A380. It was one of the largest factories built in the United Kingdom for several years. Now, Airbus chiefs are discussing how to put the site to use over the period ahead.

Tomorrow morning, we will see the last wing of the iconic yet limited edition aircraft leave Wales to be part of one of the last A380s to be delivered. This will no doubt be an emotional occasion for staff at the site.

Simple Flying reached out to Airbus for comment on the A380 wings. A spokesperson for the airline confirmed that the final wing of the set will leave Broughton by barge along the River Dee to the Port of Mostyn tomorrow, at 09:00.

How do you feel about the last A380 wing shipment leaving Broughton? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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Gerry S

Never cared much about this aircraft. It never stimulated my adrenalin. Was awesome seeing it over NYC the first time though. Now I guess that leaves room for the severely back-logged A320 family. That is a good thing.

thierry metaireau

Have you flown it? Best flying experience for me. So quiet compared to any other aircraft, very few turbulences.

Russ

Hi Sumit,

Just an fyi… “west of the city of Cheshire.” – Cheshire is a county (similar to a Canadian province or U.S. state), not a city. It is near the city of Chester.

And in the last paragraph, there is a word missing, I think, in your sentence “yet limited edition aircraft Wales to”?

Tom Boon

Thanks for spotting that Russ, I’ve gone ahead and made the correction.

Andy

Sad day. Although maybe a lot of the A380 could be put into a new superlifter to rival the C-5 and An-124 and An-225? Then again, probably not enough demand these days.

RH Hastings

Not likely as the A380 does not have the nose and rear loading capability as in the C-5, An-124, and An-225. Retro-designing either a nose and/or rear loading capability maybe cost prohibitive. Now, if there is interest someone could resurrect the A380-F with side cargo doors on both decks. But, without an A380-F NEO upgrade fuel burn may upset that value.

Akin Ogunsanya

I fly Emirates to Europe and the USA just to be on board the A380. To me, the best commercial aircraft in the world. So sad the production of this remarkable aircraft is being stopped.

Gerry S

@thierry m:…….No. Was never fortunate to fly in A380. There just was not any opportunity for me to travel on it. US airlines never utilized them and my travels, though many, occur mostly within the US and the regional Caribbean. For an airplane buff, this is frustrating indeed. However, I made way to fly on A340 my favorite a/c. Could not miss that.

Ravindranath valappil

I have flown it many times on Etihad Abu Dhab Mumbai sector.very quite interior,and minimum turbulence even during worst monsoon clouds over Mumbai skies.
Fantastic aircraft.

Eddie

just compare the economy class, A380 gives me the best experience and enjoyment, I take different A380 from variance airline, I feel good to all, specially the seat and leg space. Yes, it is less noise inside the plane too.

Gerry S

One thing everyone says that is remarkable: ."It is a very quiet airplane.". Never heard so many people say the same exact thing so many times. How can it be be do quiet that so many folks

Gerry S

….makes that one definination? I certainly missed out on an event.

TonytTDK

It IS a quiet aircraft. Where I live is sometimes on the departure path & the A380 is perhaps the quietest aircraft that overflys & as Emirates are one of the airlines, I know that the aircraft are always full or close to it.!!! It’s the same for the passenger experience inside the cabin. I suspect it’s because there are 4 engines, which means under normal circumstances, none of them are ever working hard. With a big twin, (or any twin, for that matter) the engines are working that bit harder & each need to have the capacity to keep… Read more »

Rory P

It is a very sad day. I have flown on the A380 several times. It is a remarkable aircraft, quiet and smooth. It’s like riding in the most expensive car. The A380 and the 747 are the most beautiful birds in the sky.