"Popular Science" magazine, a leading U.S. monthly has announced Airbus' A380 as a Grand Award winner in its 18th Annual "Best of What's New" issue. The Airbus A380, the world's newest and largest aircraft, beat fierce competition from thousands of other technological and innovative products to be voted Number One in the Aviation and Space category by the magazine’s U.S.-based judging panel.

The magazine last honored Airbus in November of 2000, when the A3XX, the working name for the to-be-launched A380, was highlighted as one of 100 best new products and technology developments of the year.

"The Best of What's New awards honor innovations that affect the way we live today and change the way we think about the future," says Mark Jannot, editor of Popular Science, "and our judges are convinced that the A380 will do just that."

In the announcement of Airbus' win, to be seen in the December "Popular Science" issue, available November 15, the magazine mentions the superjumbo's "roomy two-deck cabin" and its ability to pamper passengers while holding down air fares.

In addition, the magazine, states: "The A380 is half as loud as the smaller Boeing 747. Bigger fans on its engine(s) slow down noisy exhaust air without diminishing power. Another advance is reliability - the A380 has so many backup systems that Airbus claims it will almost never have to divert for mechanical failures."

Commenting on the Award, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer, Gustav Humbert, says: "It's an honor to be selected for this award as "Popular Science" has such an excellent reputation in our industry. The judges of the competition, our A380 customers, and the Airbus team overall have much in common, as they are aligned in admiration for the aircraft and its abilities."

The Airbus A380 has 159 firm orders and commitments from 16 customers worldwide. The aircraft took its maiden flight in April 2005, and there are now three A380s active in the extensive flight test program. First delivery of the A380 is scheduled for late 2006.

Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.