When Airbus launched the A380—out of its A3XX design studies—on Dec. 19, 2000, it knew that hard work lay ahead, but nobody anticipated the extent of the difficulties. With lead-customer Singapore Airlines to receive the first A380 on Oct. 15, Airbus employees and its suppliers reach a critical celebratory milestone that at many points seemed out of reach. Along the way, they have faced a seemingly unrelenting string of technical and business hurdles. And while seven years ago ...

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