The A380's four-hour sortie past the snowcapped Pyrenees removed any doubt that the behemoth capable of carrying as many as 840 passengers is airworthy.
I used to work for PanAm and they were the first to use the 747. I think it is great that Airbus has built such a large aircraft but I wonder about how popular it can be.
They are touting the A-380s lounge, Jacuzzi and casino capabilities. The 747 had lounges when it first went into production but they did not last long. Lounges just don't produce much revenue. The casino configuration may be worthwhile but then legal issues come to the fore.
I am sure that some Asian airline will get the all economy 840 seat version. They already have 500+ passenger all-economy seating 747s over there.
One thing I really think is missing is a front window for the upper deck. I know it is a challenge, just look at the cockpit, but it would have been fun having some kind of window there. that would make the plane far more popular and those seats very valuable.
It is too bad that they don't do barrel-rolls any more. "Tex" Johnson doing one with the 707 really sold the plane.
It isn't an issue of structural strength, since is barrel-roll is only a 1G maneuver. The only thing you really have to make sure of is to be far enough off the ground to make sure you get all the way over while the wings aren't providing lift.