Farnborough Air Show

A380 breaks another record

 - November 15, 2006, 6:01 AM

The world’s largest passenger aircraft set another record last month, when Airbus deployed 16 emergency slides at the same time using only the A380’s battery power.

The tests form part of an overall European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification program, scheduled to last until late this year. To satisfy certification requirements, the aircraft must provide routes of escape to occupants from all doorways in the event of an emergency. Testers may use only the aircraft’s internal battery reserves to deploy the emergency slides.

The A380 passed its first emergency evacuation test in late March, when 873 volunteers evacuated the airplane in less than 90 seconds using only eight of its 16 exits. However, one volunteer broke a leg and about 30 others sustained minor injuries.