Airbus is auctioning off parts of a decommissioned A380 superjumbo jet • The Register

Aviation enthusiasts without the budget to bag one of the discontinued Airbus A380s are in luck, as the jetmaker plans to auction off parts of a retired superjumbo later this month.

The three-day auction begins October 13 and will feature nearly 500 items, most of which come from the A380, tail number MSN13, which was operated by Emirates between 2008 and 2021. “Lights, bars, stairs, handrails, trolleys, seats, and even the cockpit escape rope” will be available to bid live in Tolouse, France, in person and online, Airbus said.

Along with pieces sourced directly from MSN13, a number of seats from other A380 aircraft will be included in the auction, as will a flight suit worn by A380 test pilot Claude Lelaie during the jet’s first flight test campaign. Several street performers were also invited by Airbus to take some pieces from MSN13 to turn them into works of art for the auction, with all proceeds going to the Airbus Foundation, the aerospace company’s charitable arm.

The A380 entered the aviation world in 2005 when it was the first passenger aircraft with an upper deck that ran the full length of the aircraft. The A380 was and is the largest passenger aircraft in the world: Depending on the configuration, it can carry more than 500 passengers.

The last A380 was assembled late last year and is the 251st in its class. Other A380 jets are still flown by Emirates, Air France, Lufthansa, British Airways and others. Most (123) of the A380 series are flown by Emirates.

Widebody aircraft like the A380 may be easily recognizable, but they are not the main aircraft in most airline fleets – that honor belongs to single-aisle narrowbody aircraft. Analysts predicted last year that the COVID-19 pandemic would have a further chilling effect on orders for widebody aircraft like the A380, which are expensive to operate and maintain (and not trivial to park).

Airbus’ latest aircraft, the A321XLR, trades a wide body and airy luxury for an “extra long range” single-aisle design, carrying just 200 passengers but capable of 11-hour flights and distances of up to 8,700 km (5,406 km). miles) while consuming less fuel than widebody aircraft like the A380. By June of this year, Airbus had already received 515 pre-orders for the A321XLR.

That’s not to say that all recent narrow-body aircraft have done well. Two crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed everyone on board stalled the 737 MAX until last year, ultimately revealing bugs in its MCAS software contributed to the fatal accidents.

Last month, Boeing agreed to pay $200 million to settle allegations by the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it misled investors about the safety of the 737 MAX. ® Airbus is auctioning off parts of a decommissioned A380 superjumbo jet • The Register

Rick Schindler

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