Airbus A380, is to visit Frankfurt in Germany for airport compatibility verification tests at the end of this month, and will fly to
Singapore, Kuala Lumpur,
Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in the first half of November. It will then be on display at the Dubai airshow in the second half of November.
The visits, which mark the first time that the Airbus A380 will be seen outside Europe, will give customers a chance to see the aircraft at first hand, and airports an early
opportunity to check their preparedness to handle it in commercial service.
The tests at Frankfurt will include taxiing around the airport, docking at a terminal, and checking passenger boarding bridge positioning. They will also demonstrate
ease of access for servicing vehicles, such as catering trucks, cargo-loaders, fuel bowsers and water servicing – both individually, and together as they would be
positioned during an aircraft turnaround.
The A380 on this tour is MSN001, the first aircraft to fly and one of five taking part in the flight-test campaign. Its cabin is fitted with extensive flight-test instrumentation,
measuring equipment and ballast tanks that can be filled with water to simulate the weight of a full load of passengers and cargo.
With more than 100 flights and some 350 flight-hours performed to date in an extensive flight-test programme that already shows a sound and mature design, the A380 is
on track to deliver on its promises.
These include 15-20% lower operating cost per seat, wider seats for all passengers in economy class, and less environmental impact through the generation of
lower emissions and only half the noise of the largest aircraft in commercial service today.
Airbus’ A380 family (A380 and A380F) has already won a strong following among many of the world’s most prestigious airlines, with 16 customers having placed orders
for 159 aircraft so far. These include Singapore Airlines, which will be the first to take delivery of an A380, at the end of 2006, followed by Qantas Airways and Emirates in
the second quarter of 2007.
Designed to use existing airports, the Airbus A380 takes off and lands in less distance than today’s largest airliner. While it is heavier because it carries more
passengers, the Airbus A380 has more wheels to spread its weight, and thus has less impact on runways. In response to airport recommendations, the length and
wingspan of the A380 have been limited to less than 80m, making it easier to integrate the world’s largest airliner into their existing facilities.
A380 to visit Singapore in November 2005, Airbus
A380 to visit Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
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