Composites Manufacturing Magazine

Singapore Airlines Spruces up Airbus A380 Cabin with Composites

The world’s first carrier to operate the A380 – Singapore Airlines – has introduced a new cabin that will be rolled out across its entire fleet. The new cabin results from four years of development and an investment by the airline of $850 million.

The new cabin products were unveiled on Nov. 2, and their service entry is expected to begin next month with the delivery of the first of five new A380s. Retrofit work will start in late 2018 on 14 aircraft already in service, with all targeted for completion in 2020.

In Business Class, the seats measure 25 inches in width and recline into a 78-inch full-flat bed. Arranged in a forward-facing, four-abreast configuration (1-2-1) offering direct access to an aisle. For couples traveling together, the two center seats can also be combined to form a double sleeping area. The Business Class seats have a thinner carbon fiber composite shell structure that creates more under-seat stowage space.

The A380 already features a number of composite components, including honeycomb, high-performance floor panels from The Gill Corporation. According to aerospace supplier guide Airframer, the A380 receives composite support from nearly 20 companies for various parts, including its center wing box’s primary structure, wing ribs and rear fuselage section. Airbus notes composite materials account for 25 percent of the A380’s structural weight, which helps make the aircraft more efficient. By producing only about 75 grams of CO2 per passenger kilometer, the A380 is helping the aviation industry’s commitment to minimize greenhouse gas emissions.