Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Airbus A380 completes historic 1st flight
Daytona Beach News-Journal Online ^ | April 27, 2005 | By LAURENCE FROST

Posted on 04/27/2005 6:21:34 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican


BLAGNAC, France (AP) -- The world's largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, completed a maiden flight Wednesday that took it over the Pyrenees mountains, a milestone for aviation and for the European aircraft-maker's battle with American rival Boeing Co.

The double-decked, 308-ton plane landed successfully to applause at 2:22 p.m (8:22 a.m. EDT) after a flight of nearly four hours. About 30,000 spectators watched the white plane with blue tail take off and touch down, 101 years after the Wright brothers achieved the first controlled, sustained flight.

Before it landed, its front lights shining, the A380 did a slow flyover above the airport in Blagnac, southwest France, where it had taken off at 10:29 a.m. (4:29 a.m. EDT).

The plane carried a crew of six and 22 tons of on-board test instruments. It can carry as many as 840 passengers on commercial flights.

"The takeoff was absolutely perfect," chief test pilot Jacques Rosay told reporters by radio from the A380 cockpit as he flew at 10,000 feet just north of the Pyrenees mountains, about an hour into the flight. "The weather's wonderful."

The pilots checked the plane's basic handling characteristics while the on-board equipment recorded measurements for 150,000 separate parameters and beamed real-time data back to computers on the ground.

Rosay, co-pilot Claude Lelaie and four fellow crew members took no chances - donning parachutes for the first flight. A handrail inside the test plane lead from the cockpit to an escape door that could have been jettisoned had the pilots lost control.

In Paris, French Cabinet ministers broke into applause when President Jacques Chirac told them of the successful start to the flight. The head of competitor Boeing's French division, Yves Galland, said he watched the televised takeoff and, just this once, "shared the emotion of the people of Airbus."

The flight capped 11 years of preparation and $13 billion in spending.

Orville and Wilbur Wright, by comparison, spent an estimated $1,000 developing their skeletal flyer, which stayed airborne for 12 seconds on the sands of Kill Devil Hills, N.C., the morning of Dec. 17, 1903.

Built of spruce and ash covered with muslin, the Wright brothers' flyer weighed 605 pounds, according to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

The A380 weighed 464 tons on takeoff, including its bulky test equipment, fittings and fuel, Airbus said. That is about 75 percent of its maximum authorized takeoff weight for commercial flights.

Spectators camped out by the airport to be there for what some said was Europe's biggest aviation event since the first flight of the supersonic Concorde in 1969. About 30,000 people gathered around the airport to watch, police said.

Emergency services took no chances and stationed fire trucks at regular intervals along the runway, although aviation experts say modern computer modeling and wind-tunnel tests have made maiden flights safer than ever.

Problems are more likely, but still very rare, later in the test-flight program, when the pilots deliberately take the plane to its limits. An Airbus A330 prototype crashed here in July 1994, killing chief test pilot Nick Warner and six others as they conducted a simulated engine failure exercise.

Airbus says the A380 test-flight program is likely to take over a year and finish soon before the plane enters service for Singapore Airlines in mid-2006.

The A380, with a catalogue price of $282 million, represents a huge bet by Airbus that airlines will need plenty of large aircraft to transport passengers between ever-busier hub airports.

So far, Airbus has booked 154 orders for the A380, which it says will carry passengers 5 percent farther than Boeing's longest-range 747 jumbo at a per-passenger cost up to one-fifth lower.

But Airbus has yet to prove that it can turn a profit on its investment, a third of which came from European governments. Some analysts say signs of a boom in the market for smaller, long-range jets like Boeing's long-range 787 "Dreamliner" show that Airbus was wrong to focus resources on the superjumbo at the expense of its own mid-sized A350 - which enters service in 2010, two years after its Boeing rival.

Just this week, Air Canada and Air India announced a total of 82 new orders for Boeing jets - including 41 787s - taking Boeing's Dreamliner order book to 237.

But Airbus CEO Noel Forgeard played down Boeing's recent orders and the 787's development lead, saying the battle for the market in smaller planes would be fought out over 20 years, not two.

"Our competitor Boeing has woken up and gets a wave of orders," Forgeard told reporters attending the A380 test flight. "Good! Competition is an excellent thing."

Forgeard, who steps down later this year to become joint CEO of Airbus parent European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co., congratulated the A380 development and test-flight team for a "fantastic collective effort" and said the plane would enter service in the "second half of 2006" - about three months behind the previous schedule.

Part of the delay is down to the superjumbo's struggle with a weight problem that consumed months of engineering time and pushed the program's cost overrun to $1.88 billion. Competitive pressure on airlines to offer plusher, heavier business-class seating tightened the squeeze.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 380; 747; a380; airbus; flight
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-211 next last

1 posted on 04/27/2005 6:21:35 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Tennessee_Bob; cmsgop; Denver Ditdat

ping


2 posted on 04/27/2005 6:24:02 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican

You mean it didn't crash? Golly, gee whiz, shucks!


3 posted on 04/27/2005 6:24:17 AM PDT by Sen Jack S. Fogbound
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sen Jack S. Fogbound

That was my thought, too. Will this replace the Concorde?


4 posted on 04/27/2005 6:25:11 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican

posted previously


5 posted on 04/27/2005 6:26:31 AM PDT by soccer_linux_mozilla (I believe in the potential of Open Source software: Linux, Mozilla, Firefox, OpenOffice,etc)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: soccer_linux_mozilla

Really? I did a search and no returns. Got a link??


6 posted on 04/27/2005 6:27:01 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican
Rosay, co-pilot Claude Lelaie and four fellow crew members took no chances - donning parachutes for the first flight. A handrail inside the test plane lead from the cockpit to an escape door that could have been jettisoned had the pilots lost control.

If this baby crashes, it'll be like an asteroid hitting the earth!

7 posted on 04/27/2005 6:27:12 AM PDT by Rummyfan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican
And terrorists around the world will want to bag one of these suckers.

I'm kind of amazed it didn't crash.

8 posted on 04/27/2005 6:27:15 AM PDT by Centurion2000 (Nations do not survive by setting examples for others. Nations survive by making examples of others)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: soccer_linux_mozilla; Sidebar Moderator

Oh, yep! Found it. I searched using 380 before posting. Found it using a380 this time. Thanks

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1391955/posts


9 posted on 04/27/2005 6:29:20 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: soccer_linux_mozilla
Duplicate posts are no longer a concern. Let me give you an example.
10 posted on 04/27/2005 6:38:24 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican

It bad enough trying to get off a 757 with 150 other grumpy passengers. Can you imagine what it will be like with 450-500 people on board!!!2/3s of them will be in a hurry to catch a connecting flight. I think once people see these as cattle cars, they're doomed.


11 posted on 04/27/2005 6:38:34 AM PDT by blastdad51 (Proud father of an Enduring Freedom vet, and friend of a soldier lost in Afghanistan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican
But Airbus has yet to prove that it can turn a profit on its investment, a third of which came from European governments.

I didn't know that mattered to Socialists.

12 posted on 04/27/2005 6:41:08 AM PDT by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican
That was my thought, too. Will this replace the Concorde?

As the poster plane for failed avaition ideas maybe. I do not thing this baby has much of a future besides cargo.
13 posted on 04/27/2005 6:41:38 AM PDT by TXBSAFH (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, who's bringing the chips?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican

They make great planes, as long as the tail fins stay attached...


14 posted on 04/27/2005 6:50:41 AM PDT by boris (The deadliest weapon of mass destruction in history is a leftist with a word processor.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TXBSAFH

Who is going to pay for the reconfiguration of airline gates to get these people on and off?

This plane will never touch down in the USA.


15 posted on 04/27/2005 6:51:07 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (60 votes and the world changes.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican
Part of the delay is down to the superjumbo's struggle with a weight problem that consumed months of engineering time and pushed the program's cost overrun to $1.88 billion.

Telling, and a point of weakness. Modern computer design programs can calculate the weight of the plane before it is built. They shaved some things down or re-engineered them after they already started building the plane. Look for precisely those areas that were re-designed to give maintenance problems in the future.

16 posted on 04/27/2005 6:54:59 AM PDT by ikka
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican

And, just in time, too!! Now Chirac will be able to pick up 800 specially trained Jamaican, Haitian and Cuban multi-voters from Miami and fly them to many, many cities in France where they will be able to vote, well, multiple time, for the Eurinal Consitution! They don't call him "Lucky Jacques" for nothing!


17 posted on 04/27/2005 7:01:16 AM PDT by Tacis ( SEAL THE FRIGGEN BORDER!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican
Rosay, co-pilot Claude Lelaie and four fellow crew members took no chances - donning parachutes for the first flight. A handrail inside the test plane lead from the cockpit to an escape door that could have been jettisoned had the pilots lost control.

This bit cracked me up.

Is this common practice for test flights with commercial aviation airliners?

Seriously though, if the plane is OK and flies well, then jolly good luck to them.

I like 4 engine planes. The more engines the better, as far as I'm concerned.

18 posted on 04/27/2005 7:02:11 AM PDT by marshmallow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DTogo
"But Airbus has yet to prove that it can turn a profit on its investment, a third of which came from European governments."

Someone needs to explain the WTO rules to me; American companies are fined if they get government favors, and it's called unfair competition, but here we have governments directly subsidizing Airbus. Maybe it's like the NBA, where Shaq can clear the lane with his fat ass, but if anyone puts a pinky on him when he goes up for a shot, it's a foul.
19 posted on 04/27/2005 7:04:40 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: soccer_linux_mozilla

Wow, what a truly big airplane.


20 posted on 04/27/2005 7:04:40 AM PDT by AxelPaulsenJr (Pray Daily For Our Troops and President Bush)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ikka

Part of the delay is down to the superjumbo's struggle with a weight problem that consumed months of engineering time and pushed the program's cost overrun to $1.88 billion.

21 posted on 04/27/2005 7:04:40 AM PDT by MarketR ("We are pioneers of the world; the advance-guard, sent on through the wilderness of untried things")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican

Beautiful. Let's hope one never crashes.


22 posted on 04/27/2005 7:05:13 AM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (I know a great deal about the Middle East because Ive been raising Arabian horses" Patrick Swazey)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican
Orville and Wilbur Wright, by comparison, spent an estimated $1,000 developing their skeletal flyer, which stayed airborne for 12 seconds on the sands of Kill Devil Hills, N.C., the morning of Dec. 17, 1903.

The frogs never miss a chance to slam Americans.........

23 posted on 04/27/2005 7:07:17 AM PDT by Thermalseeker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blastdad51

Reminds me of a really old ad, "Take the Bus and Leave the Driving to Us". Who the hell wants to fly on a bus? Tourist going from London to Disney World, but not I.


24 posted on 04/27/2005 7:08:52 AM PDT by foofoopowder
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican
Airbus
25 posted on 04/27/2005 7:10:36 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican

two words:

"Spruce Goose"

And how many times did that "large" plane fly?


26 posted on 04/27/2005 7:11:30 AM PDT by in hoc signo vinces ("Soylent green is people!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Psycho_Bunny
I don't know the TOW of other aircraft but when they say how big this one is, I wonder if now our airports are going to have to upgrade/alter/change the runways to accommodate the heavier aircraft
27 posted on 04/27/2005 7:16:15 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
A handrail inside the test plane lead from the cockpit to an escape door that could have been jettisoned had the pilots lost control.

Thank god they will enjoy the safety of a handrail as there 308 ton airplane hurdles to the ground. They think of everything!

The problem is that they plan on leaving this feature in when it goes to production. :)

"This is the Captain, if you look out the left window you will see the crew and myself parachuting to safety.... if you look out the right window you will not see a wing".
28 posted on 04/27/2005 7:19:20 AM PDT by Daus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: A.A. Cunningham
Already posted here

Next time do a search.

And this article had been posted 1x before as you will see in the link.

29 posted on 04/27/2005 7:19:40 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican

I seem to remember a History Channel show on the 747 (maybe it was the 707?) that flew so well on it test flight that the pilots did a roll-over as they passed the company president. I wonder if the pilots would be willing to try that with this plane?


30 posted on 04/27/2005 7:21:54 AM PDT by Armando Guerra
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EQAndyBuzz

Airports in New York (JFK), Chicago and Los Angeles are making modifications to accomodate the A380.

San Francisco can already handle it.


31 posted on 04/27/2005 7:22:28 AM PDT by Intombe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Armando Guerra

Ha! Tex did that with the 707 over Boeing field. He got spanked for it and after the chewing out, his boss said "good job" or something to that effect.


32 posted on 04/27/2005 7:24:14 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

Yes, it is standard procedure for the test pilots to have parachutes and an escape mechanism. Boeing does this too.


33 posted on 04/27/2005 7:25:04 AM PDT by Intombe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Thermalseeker
Orville and Wilbur Wright, by comparison, spent an estimated $1,000 developing their skeletal flyer, which stayed airborne for 12 seconds on the sands of Kill Devil Hills, N.C., the morning of Dec. 17, 1903. The frogs never miss a chance to slam Americans.........

I wonder how this would compare to our Apollo program. Our last Apollo flight was over 30 years ago. It lasted a lot longer, and flew alot further than the A380. You mean they couldn't build upon 40 year old technology.

34 posted on 04/27/2005 7:25:46 AM PDT by mountn man
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: blastdad51
Can you imagine what it will be like with 450-500 people on board!!!

Two words: baggage claim.

35 posted on 04/27/2005 7:28:06 AM PDT by Alouette (In each and every generation they rise up to destroy us, but the Holy One, saves us from their hands)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican

What do you get when you cross a C5 Galaxy and a Winnebago?

The Airbus A380.


36 posted on 04/27/2005 7:30:34 AM PDT by Falcon4.0
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Falcon4.0

LOL

Airstream!


37 posted on 04/27/2005 7:32:53 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican
"Part of the delay is down to the superjumbo's struggle with a weight problem that consumed months of engineering time and pushed the program's cost overrun to $1.88 billion."

That is one big, fat airplane! It'll be interesting to see how the actual transonic aerodynamics pan out on it.

Weight problems multiply, by definition, for large airplanes. Remember, for planes of similar configuration, like the A380, the lifting power goes up proportionally to the square of the wingspan while the weight goes up proportionally to the cube of the wingspan.

They'll probably have to make most of the A380 out of styrofoam to keep the weight within manageable limits! LOL

38 posted on 04/27/2005 7:33:31 AM PDT by nightdriver
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Armando Guerra

am trying to find the video online. But here
http://www.super70s.com/Super70s/Tech/Aviation/Aircraft/Dash80.asp


39 posted on 04/27/2005 7:33:34 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican

All terrorists are drooling at the prospect of 800 passenger airplanes.


40 posted on 04/27/2005 7:34:55 AM PDT by dfwgator (Minutemen: Just doing the jobs that American politicians won't do.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Steve_Seattle

For what it's worth on the Boeing/Airbus spat:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A13181-2004Oct6.html


41 posted on 04/27/2005 7:35:15 AM PDT by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Armando Guerra; cmsgop; Tennessee_Bob

here

http://www.alexisparkinn.com/photogallery/Videos/707%20Roll.mpg


42 posted on 04/27/2005 7:35:43 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican
Duplicate posts are no longer a concern. Yep, I've reported a few lately and they are ignored.
43 posted on 04/27/2005 7:37:15 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Armando Guerra; Tennessee_Bob; cmsgop; Denver Ditdat
Cool webpage notice!

http://www.alexisparkinn.com/aviation_videos.htm
44 posted on 04/27/2005 7:38:29 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican

The A380 is a terrorist's dream.


45 posted on 04/27/2005 7:38:39 AM PDT by ampat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: RedBloodedAmerican

I'm going have to look at these at home BUMP.

I've seen the F-15 collision one before though - you hear the impact, the pilot begins making his calls and trying to save the jet - and then you hear Betty going "Caution, Caution..."


47 posted on 04/27/2005 7:43:29 AM PDT by Tennessee_Bob (The Crew Chief's Toolbox: A roll around cabinet full of specialists.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican

Super 70"s , where the 70's never finished? Freaky LOL
I couldn't wait to get out of the 80's :)


48 posted on 04/27/2005 7:43:55 AM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: RedBloodedAmerican
"Orville and Wilbur Wright, by comparison, spent an estimated $1,000 developing their skeletal flyer.."

That would be $21,303.47 in today's dollars.

Cordially,

49 posted on 04/27/2005 7:44:34 AM PDT by Diamond (Qui liberatio scelestus trucido inculpatus.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Armando Guerra

I'm positive the pilot would not be willing to do a 1G roll, as that is not part of the flight test.

No reason he couldn't easily do it with the A380, though. You can do a 1G roll in any airplane. The 707 doesn't have an special flying characteristics. As Tex said, the airplane doesn't know it is upside down.


50 posted on 04/27/2005 7:45:42 AM PDT by Intombe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-211 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson