Airbus is working hard to complete A350 flight testing, which it hopes to close by the end of next month in preparation for formal European Aviation Safety Agency airworthiness approval in September. Principal remaining work involves long-range flights now under way following a maximum-energy rejected take-off (MERTO) demonstration at Istres Air Force Base in France on July 19. By July 22, the five A350 test aircraft had logged more than 2,250 hours during about 540 flights involving more than 1,380 takeoff/landing cycles.
The mammoth A380 made a triumphal arrival on the Paris Air Show’s center stage here yesterday morning. Airbus’ long-awaited double-decker airliner drew exhibitor set-up staff from the halls and chalets to marvel as it gracefully (and almost silently) appeared on the Le Bourget horizon.
With almost 150 flights and well over 500 hours of test flying behind it, the Airbus A380 very large airliner’s participation at Dubai 2005 marks only its second airshow presence since the maiden flight last April. The program has been boosted this month by visits to airports in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region that will host early scheduled passenger services slated to begin with Singapore Airlines around the end of next year.
Exactly 300 days into a 2,500-hour flight-test program, the Airbus A380 very-large airliner (VLA) is here at Asian Aerospace 2006 as the European manufacturer celebrates the maiden flight of a fourth example (S/N007). The latest aircraft flew two days ago.
To professional aerospace observers, there should be no such thing as culture shock, but even after several years of Airbus A380 gestation some of its vital statistics retain their “gee whiz” characteristics. Not least are the new mega-jetliner’s design weights, taking off at up to almost 1,235,000 pounds and landing at more than 851,000 pounds.