A380 service takes off with room, romance and the latest in Alcoa Technology.

The A380 superjumbo is a flying superlative: more passengers; more luxurious; more quiet; more green; more wired than anything that has flown before—at least anything that's not classified.

But this is more than the latest version of our desire to go bigger, farther and faster. The A380 will be air travel's equivalent of a next-generation Interstate highway, aggregating passenger traffic more efficiently than ever to move it over long-haul, high-density air routes, saving time, money and energy. This is the essential A380 value proposition—the equation that will make money for the airlines, Airbus and Alcoa.

For air passengers, there's a huge bonus: the bigger form factor and all the new technology should make this double-decker more fun to fly than anything else in the air. Hence the double beds, cushy recliners, video consoles and cocktail bars. We can have our cake, eat it, and even wash it down with a crisp glass of Moet.

With business and growth booming in places like China, it's no surprise that one of the first places the A380 is going into service is Asia. Singapore Air has plans to add up to two dozen more A380s to feed an exploding appetite for global air travel through this region over the coming decade.

For Alcoa, the A380 represents more than a decade of new ideas in metallurgy, structural design, logistics and collaboration with Airbus. With every A380 that takes off, literally more than a million pieces of Alcoa technology take flight, from fasteners to fuselage skins and on to an endless list of essential solutions. And many of these are superlatives equal to the breakthrough that is the A380: the biggest wing spars ever made, the largest, most fatigue resistant upper and lower wing skins, the largest wing spar ever forged, and new titanium lockbolts that marry metal to composite in the A380's huge wing box.

This project has engaged the talents of a generation of minds at Alcoa. As the number of flights grows; and as the number of aircraft grows; it will engage the production, support and innovation capacities of a generation more.