Maybe I'm thinking too much as a former engineer, but given the complexities of these planes, wouldn't it have been better to START with the freighter version? If they would have built the freighter first they could have resolved the airframe issues, flight controls, flight testing, etc., then moved to add the more complex interior modules that account for a large part of their wiring issues.
The Freighter version first would have built confidence into the manufacturing process as it minimized overall exposure.
Oh well - never mind.
Obviously, a freighter would have been simpler to build.
Naaah...it makes too much sense. ;^)
You're thinking like an engineer instead of as a politician. It was a political decision from the git-go to build the Largest Passenger Aircraft in the World. Airbus let the political considerations over-ride the market research. But more seriously, it looks like they let them over-ride the engineering as well.
Building an A380 frieghter is not a superlative, because the Russians already have a larger frieghter in the air. It would not satisfy the political requirement.
True, but we are talking about European egos here.