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Author Topic: Airbus A380 makes first flight
Bill Door
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http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/04/26/airbus.launch/index.html

quote:
TOULOUSE, France (CNN) -- The world's largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, has landed safely in Toulouse, France after making its first test flight.

The double-decker "superjumbo" touched down on the runway at 2:22 p.m. (1222 GMT) Wednesday after a nearly four-hour flight with six crew members aboard.

464 tons at 10,000 feet. That's one big hunk of metal. It is a great aviation achievement, although it remains to be seen whether it will be a commercial success.

Expected entry to commercial service is mid-2006, although most Americans won't be seeing one any time soon. No US-based passenger airline has ordered one (although FedEx and UPS both have). The FAA hasn't decided whether to certify it to operate on a 150-ft wide runway, and only airports like LAX, ORD, DEN, and MIA have runways wider than that (notably, ATL doesn't).

Videos are available at
Airbus's web site.

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ElJay
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Cool!
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urbanX
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It's almost to big to believe.
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rivka
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And you thought boarding took forever now . . .

quote:
Some passenger planes will have cocktail bars, double beds and massage parlors, while Airbus has suggested that selected jets may even have jacuzzis and mini-casinos.

Anybody want to bet these will be only for first class?
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ludosti
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It's fun to think I've had a small part in making that first flight possible. [Smile] The company I work for has done environmental testing on several of its components - door actuactors, landing gear actuators, etc.
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urbanX
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Well, if I was the airline I'd want the mini casino available to everyone. More people=more money.
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Papa Moose
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Mama's company makes airplane testing equipment, and I know they've done business with Airbus. I guess she could take some credit, too.
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rivka
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It's a big plane. There's a lot of credit to go around.
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twinky
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That's some serious big. I mean, I knew they were making it, and I assumed it would fly, but still...
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Jonathan Howard
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Airbus is sooo much cooler than Boeing! I was once on an A330, I think. Inner-Europe travel, equivalent to either a 737 or 757.
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Jonathan Howard
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Airbus is sooo much cooler than Boeing! I was once on an A330, I think. Inner-Europe travel, equivalent to either a 737 or 757.
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Choobak
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Oh yeah !!! Some good friends (engineers) work on it. So powerful !!! Welcome, European plane !
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Choobak
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Oh yeah !!! Some good friends (engineers) work on it. So powerful !!! Welcome, European plane !
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Choobak
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Oh yeah !!! Some good friends (engineers) work on it. So powerful !!! Welcome, European plane !
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Choobak
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Oh yeah !!! Some good friends (engineers) work on it. So powerful !!! Welcome, European plane !
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Choobak
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Oh yeah !!! Some good friends (engineers) work on it. So powerful !!! Welcome, European plane !
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Choobak
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Oh yeah !!! Some good friends (engineers) work on it. So powerful !!! Welcome, European plane !
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Choobak
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Oh yeah !!! Some good friends (engineers) work on it. So powerful !!! Welcome, European plane !
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Mama Squirrel
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Pop was right. The company I work for built the equipment they use to test the electrical connections in the Airbus A380 as they are building it.
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Mama Squirrel
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Pop is right. The company I work for manufactured the automatic testing equipment used to test the electrical connections in the Airbus A380 during production.
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Architraz Warden
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Whoa, forum is acting up again it seems.

Many congrats to Airbus for the A380. I look forward to seeing one of these behemoths flying overhead (eventually it seems, since only UPS and FedEx are planning to fly them within the states so far). I'm glad there weren't any major hitches after the years of publicity during development.

That said, I'm still a fan of Boeing more than Airbus. The most dismal cross-Atlantic flight I've had (of six total) has been on an Airbus. The ergonomics and scale of the plane in question do not agree well with 6' 6" people who have to fly coach. (Yes, this might have been Lufthansa’s fault for the seat arrangement, but I bet no). They may have fixed this with the A380, but seeing as it holds 555 people I'm betting no on that as well.

Feyd Baron, DoC

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Bill Door
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quote:
The most dismal cross-Atlantic flight I've had (of six total) has been on an Airbus. The ergonomics and scale of the plane in question do not agree well with 6' 6" people who have to fly coach. (Yes, this might have been Lufthansa’s fault for the seat arrangement, but I bet no).
No, lack of legroom is a common issue on the A340. I've heard complaints from people as short as 5'2" (and that was on Virgin Atlantic).

JH (and others) - Here's a list of currently-produced Airbus aircraft and their direct Boeing competitors:

Airbus A320 series - Boeing 737 series.
A320-series aircraft also fly some 757 routes, since the A321 is almost as big as the 757-200, and the A320 series can fly transatlantic routes if the airline removes enough passenger seats. The A320 is in my opinion the best aircraft Airbus makes; it's more comfortable than the Boeing equivalents, and it is newer, so makes pilots' jobs easier.

Airbus A330 series - Boeing 767 series.
The 767 is much much much more popular than the A330, but I'm not sure how much of that is because many airlines had established 767 fleets before the A330 came out. Either way, airlines aren't replacing their old 767s with A330s like they are with the 737 and A320. The 767 is amazingly flexible; it can fly high-density domestic routes like LGA-FLL just as easily as transatlantic routes like IAD-LHR. On the other hand, the only place you're likely to see an A330 in the US is the AirFrance terminal at your local really big airport.

Airbus A340 series and A380 - Boeing 777 series and Boeing 747-400.
The A340 flies a lot of routes that would be just as well-served by a 777, but for some reason, a lot of European airlines like airplanes that have 4 engines. In their cases, it's pretty much a toss-up between the 747 and the A340; the A340 is newer, but it has the previously-mentioned passenger comfort problems.

The A380 is bigger and can fly further than basically anything else ever designed; that's both an advantage and a disadvantage, as outlined in my original post. There are very few routes that can get the A340, 777, and 747 into range trouble (think New York to Sydney, Seattle to Cape Town, London to Buenos Aries...); do you really want to sit on an airplane for 20 hours?

[ April 27, 2005, 05:53 PM: Message edited by: Bill Door ]

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jeniwren
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The airlines determine how the interior is configured.

For example, as I understand it, JetBlue gives the people in the back of the plane a few inches extra legroom as compensation for having to sit in the back. United added inches to the first number of rows of coach, which they will sell as upgrades when you check in (Economy Plus, they call it) or if you smile and speak nicely to the person at the counter, they may give you for free. [Wink]

(Feyd, whenever you fly, may I suggest you always ask for the exit row seats? If you're not able to get one of these seats when you purchase your ticket, plan to check in early if you can and request them at the counter. I am only 5'1" but I almost always ask for either the exit row or one of the premium coach seats. I figure it doesn't hurt to ask and it's nearly impossible for me to use my laptop in the regular rows. More than half of the time I get what I ask for.)

[ April 27, 2005, 06:40 PM: Message edited by: jeniwren ]

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Lyrhawn
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One of the big reasons why you won't see it in an American airport anytime soon is that they are too big to fit into most American terminals. Major remodeling would have to be done at most major US airports to enable it access, and most just don't want to pay the millions to make it happen when airlines can easily buy the new Boeing Dreamliner that will fit in all world airports without millions spent on remodeling.
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rivka
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Ditto jeniwren on the exit row seats. They won't usually let you choose them online, but sometimes you can switch to them when you check in, or at the counter.

Speaking of flying, jeniwren, aren't you headed over this-away sometime soon?

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jeniwren
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They keep putting off the Go Live date, so my trip out there keeps getting put off. Yesterday I was told to plan to go that way the first week of June. 'Course, they could call me tomorrow and say "Can you leave Monday? Yes, this coming Monday." But right now, it looks like it'll be at least a few weeks if not a month or more now. They only have one guy on the implementation, and he's not working on it full time, so I suspect that the date may slide. Or that they'll pull me off my current project and team me up with him so he gets a little more help.

I'll definitely let you know when I have some firm dates. [Smile]

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rivka
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Cool. [Smile] This week and next are rather busy anyway. (Of course, the first week of June is about when I'll be frantically grading stuff to hand back to students before finals, but I'll need the occasional break.)
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