The first A380 technical manual, the "Airplane Characteristics for Airport Planning," was released this month. It can be consulted and/or downloaded from the A380 Family page on Airbus' web site at This is the first time a technical manual of this nature has been made available so early, some three years before the first flight of the aircraft.

The Airplane Characteristics manual provides specific A380 data needed by airport authorities and planners to support the operation of the A380 within their airports. Data such as airplane dimensions, take off and landing distances, terminal operations data, taxiing, parking and pavement loading requirements are provided for the A380-800 and A380-800F, the passenger and freighter versions of the A380.

Airbus has been working with planning teams from 50 major airports in five continents to ensure smooth handling of the A380 when it enters service in 2006 and the Airplane Characteristics manual is a major support for this.

Following release of this first manual and up to entry into service of the A380, Airbus will deliver a full range of technical data for the maintenance, engineering, material support and flight operations departments of A380 airline customers. Technical data for the A380 will be available in electronic format according to the most recent aviation industry standards, which are more efficient and user friendly. They will be accessible through Airbus On Line Services, the Airbus portal for Customer Support.

With 97 firm orders and commitments, the A380 has achieved a resounding success on the market in just one year from its launch.

Based in Toulouse, France, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the U.K and Spain, as well as fully-owned subsidiaries in the United States, China and Japan. Airbus is a joint EADS Company with BAE SYSTEMS.