I agree, they do look stubby, i think they should have had a 747 style upper deck cockpit. The lower deck cockpit position makes the front look all droopy
The 747 has the cockpit all the way up on the upper deck because they had to provide clearance for cargo, with or without a nose door. The 747 was meant to be a cargo plane as soon as the SSTs came into service in the late 70s. This never happened, but the cockpit remained up there.
The A380 has the cockpit in a position which has a couple of advantages over the 747:
- Aerodynamically I am not an expert, but I get the feeling the 747 has a pretty blunt nose and the 380 cleaves the air better.
- The cockpit area can be completely isolated from the rest of the aircraft, with it's own staircase from the entrance. On the 747 you have to walk through the upper deck. Security.
- More efficient layout of the double staircase to the upper deck.
- Less height above the ground for the pilots, enabling easier transition from 330/340.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo