Inside Airbus’ (Empty) A380plus Double-Decker Airliner
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
In what would have clearly seemed like an April Fools’ joke had the news been delivered on April 1, one Airbus Paris Air Show announcement at first seemed very real — there was even a modified A380 to match, complete with new winglets and a fresh paint job. But the A380plus is really just a regular A380, plus some paint and two mocked-up winglets. We were almost fooled.
Seeing the charade to completion, I made my way onboard the “A380plus,” which, as I’m now keenly aware, is simply a test aircraft shell. In fact, this particular A380 doesn’t even leave the ground — it was at Le Bourget long before the show and will remain after all the guests (and “real” aircraft) fly away.
But I still wanted to see inside.
While the “plus” model doesn’t actually give us idea of what the finished product would look like — including 80 additional seats in a 3-5-3 configuration, reduced aisle width and compact staircases — it’s certainly interesting to see a superjumbo in this state. You can get a feel for the empty aircraft in the video walkthrough below.
There are a few components inside the plane, such as a cockpit.
Some Airbus testing equipment.
More test equipment…
Loads and loads of wires.
And even more wires overhead.
Otherwise, it’s almost entirely bare. For example, this is where you’d find the bedroom for Etihad’s Residence (see TPG’s full review here).
And here’s where you’d find a couple hundred economy seats, or several dozen first and business-class seats, depending on the airline.
The staircases were just about the only components that were fully intact, though the rear spiral staircase (to be replaced on the plus) was very rickety.
So what’s next for this particular A380? Well, it may never fly again — it arrived at Le Bourget early this year and is now a fixture of the airport’s Air and Space Museum.
See these posts for more from the Paris Air Show:
- Video Tour: Qatar Airways’ Brand-New Qsuite Business Class
- First Look: Qatar Airways Qsuite Business Class
- Qatar Airways’ First 777 With Qsuite Business Class Arrives in Paris
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.