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A380 takes off for maiden flight!!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My, look at this beast of a plane

From BBC News
The world's largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, is on its long-awaited maiden flight.

Thousands of aeroplane enthusiasts, many of them clapping and cheering, witnessed the twin-deck "superjumbo" taking to the air for the first time.

The flight was due to last between two and four hours, depending on weather conditions and how the plane handled.

It took off from its production site in Toulouse, France with a crew of six and about 20 tonnes of test equipment.

Airbus, which is owned by European firm EADS and the UK's BAE Systems, sees the A380 as the future of air travel.

Arch-rival Boeing has instead chosen to focus on mid-sized long-haul aircraft like its new 787 and its benchmark 747 jumbo jet.

The A380 - designed to carry as many as 840 people between major airports - took off from its production site in southern France at just after 0830 GMT.

"The speed on takeoff was exactly as we had expected," said test pilot Jacques Rosay. "The weather is wonderful. Everything is absolutely perfect and we are very happy."

The crew are expected to take the plane out over the Bay of Biscay, before returning to base.

Most of the tests will be carried out at 10,000 feet and within 100 miles of Toulouse, said Peter Chandler, deputy project pilot for the A380.

He added that the plane was flying with its wheels down as a safety measure, and that the A380's hydraulics and electrics had all been tested while it was on the ground.

During the flight, there will be a live satellite feed of data which will be monitored by a team of experts on the ground, Airbus said.

Taking no chances, the crew has been equipped with parachutes. A handrail has been fitted, leading from the cockpit to an escape door.

More than 50,000 people are thought to have watched the take-off, many of them sitting on the grass banks that line the runway.

The take-off was also broadcast live on television and thousands watched via a giant screen in Toulouse's main square.

More than a year of flight-testing and certification-programme work will now follow before the A380 starts commercial services.

Pilots will then have to push the plane far harder then they have on Wednesday, testing for extremes of speed, altitude and temperature, experts said.

The project, hailed as a European success story by leaders including France's President Jacques Chirac, has had its share of problems.

In December 2004, Airbus' main shareholder EADS, which has an 80% stake, revealed that the project was £1bn (1.5bn euros; $1.9bn) over budget, at more than £8.4bn.

The UK's BAE Systems owns the remaining 20% of Airbus.
post #2 of 7
I only think that these planes are worth it if you are flying more than 2 hours.
They are building one in sydney also and for me its only worth it going on those planes if i fly to australia again

But seriously, they are putting a casino on there? and a spa entertainment?? and double beds??? hmm a bit crazy!
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by fwan
But seriously, they are putting a casino on there? and a spa entertainment?? and double beds??? hmm a bit crazy!
But... something extra to do other than sit down like a sardine watching videos would help people (like me... ) who are scared of flying to take their mind off it!
post #4 of 7
well for me i think that they should inlarge the seats in economy class, they have upgraded so you have 12 channels to watch and video games, but i suppose its good for people who cannot sit down for a while like my parents they constantly have to walk around the plane.
post #5 of 7
oh, it is beautiful!!!

have i told you guys i am going to be an airplane in my next life
not one of those of course, either a fighter plane or a b-1, maybe a c-5 galaxy!!

look at it compared to the other things on the ground! OMG!
post #6 of 7
wow, now that's a BIG plane
post #7 of 7
unfortunatly, it's not going to be comfy for most people.

It's main market is Southeast Asia, where people are used to being crammed into aircraft.

I have heard, however, that the high-end versions will be available with cruise-ship like accomidations.
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