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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Location: United States

Monday, November 27, 2006

Flight of fancy?

Or folly?! The Airbus Consortium has spent a lot of money developing the A380, which has had some problems, most recently with the wiring...of which there are hundreds of miles worth per airframe.

Airbus A380 in test flight to North and South Poles
TOULOUSE, France - The Airbus A380 starts a global journey which will take in the North and South Poles on the last of a series of test flights before it applies for its air safety certificate.

The plane, which is being tested under commercial conditions, is seeking to gain its airworthiness certificate by mid-December from European and United States aviation safety authorities.

It will fly from Toulouse, France, where it is assembled, over the two poles and is set to stop in Johannesburg, Sydney and Vancouver in Canada before returning to France on November 30.

On Friday, the giant plane returned from 18 days of testing which took it to Asia, with stop-offs at major airports including Singapore, home of Singapore Airlines. This airline which should take delivery of the first A380 next October - deliveries are around two years behind schedule because of electrical cabling problems.

Airbus has claimed that the wiring problems besetting its A380 superjumbo have now been overcome and the firm is confident it can meet its new revised target dates, reported Gulf News. Airbus is hoping to receive air worthiness certification before the end of 2006. So far, 26 A380s have been built but these will need to be rewired following the earlier technical snags; firm orders presently stand at 166.

From the Airbus website:
"The A380 will carry more passengers over longer distances, allowing for projected passenger growth worldwide and helping to ease an increasingly congested environment. It will achieve this without increasing the number of air traffic movements and without negatively impacting the environment, thanks to significantly reduced noise and emissions levels."

This aircraft is supposed to be able to carry a maximum of 900 passengers or so in its most heavily-populated configuration, although a number of options are being touted of a more comfortable nature.

We'll have to wait and see how much interest there is in the concept, as it will require special accommodations to service it wherever it might go.

It weighs over a million pounds...


Blogger Hawkeye® said...

I haven't seen any from my perch as of yet. I think I'll wait til they get all the bugs out before I try one.

(:D) Regards...

November 27, 2006 8:36 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

I wonder if it has a pull handle when a passenger wants to get off at the next stop.

November 27, 2006 9:54 AM  
Blogger Road Rider said...

I agree with Hawkeye. A million pounds!! Wow. How much does the space shuttle weigh fully loaded?

November 27, 2006 10:35 AM  
Blogger Kajun said...

How many kilograms izat?

November 27, 2006 12:07 PM  
Blogger JR said...

Wonder if they have really fixed that "Wiring Catches on Fire” problem this time???

November 27, 2006 12:29 PM  
Blogger darth_meister said...

A liberal would take one look at that and feel, "That monstrosity can't fly, besides it might crash, the pilots might be incompentent, the flight attendants are an all volunteer force comprised of those who aren't smart enough to stay in college, the maintenance people might make mistakes and the aircraft is way too expensive to operate since the money can be better spent on more deserving welfare recipients."

November 27, 2006 1:02 PM  
Blogger Grant Jones said...

Aloha Jack,

Those pictures you sent me are way cool. So I posted them. I hope that's OK. Thanks again.

November 27, 2006 1:46 PM  
Blogger Beerme said...

A million pounds??? Is that GVTOW?
That's, what, nearly three times the weight of a 747? That's big!

November 27, 2006 5:13 PM  
Blogger benning said...

That's just way too big! A huge disaster waiting to happen. But I bet it'll be impressive in the air.

November 27, 2006 8:40 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Waiting until they get the "bugs" out seems like a wise decision.

It prob'ly has all kinds of buttons, handles, knobs, etc.

Road Rider:
The maximum gross liftoff weight of the entire Space Shuttle system (including external tank, solid booster rockets and 50K max. payload) is 4.5 million pounds; the solid booster rockets weigh as much as the heaviest A380 configuration...which is 1.3 million pounds.

That's 590,000 kilograms.

Hopefully they've resolved the wiring issues; they have caused lots of delays already. Only time will tell, of course.

They'll be expensive, that's for sure. But they can definitely fly.

Grant Jones:
I thought you'd like those radio-controlled C-17 pictures. Posting them is perfectly fine with me.

1.3 million pounds, maximum take-off weight.

The maximum take-off weight for the latest version of the 747 (the -8) is actually almost a million pounds, (it's 970,000) not much less than the A380, really.

It's not all that much bigger than the 747, size-wise, but on the A380 the upper deck runs the entire length of the fuselage...

November 28, 2006 1:08 AM  
Blogger camojack said...


November 28, 2006 1:09 AM  
Blogger Cassandra said...

Well, since I can't comment on the previous post, I am still officially jealous camo. Hope your trip was wonderful - I thought we'd get a report?

November 28, 2006 6:23 PM  
Blogger camojack_senior said...

I can only imagine what the luggage retrieval lines would be
be like, and security would go
bananas with all those suspects

November 28, 2006 7:54 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

How about a pictorial report?

Not only the baggage claim, what about just getting all those bodies on and off?! They'll be building double decker jetways or something...

November 29, 2006 12:41 AM  

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