September 24, 2012
In developing the 525-passenger A380, Airbus chose to leap past Boeing's 747 in capacity class. Boeing is marketing the 747-8 to indirectly compete with the A380, but no direct rival exists in the 500-plus-seat market. The A380 is powered by four turbofan engines rated at 70,000-76,500 lb. thrust each and can be outfitted with either the General Electric/Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance GP7200 or Rolls-Royce Trent 900. Airbus currently produces only a passenger version of the A380, delaying development of a freighter version until at least 2014. First flight occurred in 2005. Airbus produced 71 A380s through 2011, with another 315 forecast for 2012-21.