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The Airbus A380 is to visit Frankfurt in Germany for airport compatibility verification tests at the end of this month, and will also fly to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in the first half of November.
Airbus said that the visits, which will 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 , Airbus suggest that the A380 is on track to deliver on its promises.
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 80 m, making it easier to integrate the world’s largest airliner into their existing facilities. .
Airbus A380 family customers and the number of aircraft that they have ordered are:
Air France (10),
China Southern Airlines (5),
Emirates (41 passenger and 2 freighters),
Etihad Airways (4),
Federal Express (10 freighters),
ILFC (5 passenger and 5 freighters,
Kingfisher Airlines (5),
Korean Air (5),
Malaysia Airlines (6),
Qatar Airways (2)
Qantas Airways (12)
Singapore Airlines (10),
Thai Airways (6),
United Parcel Service (10 freighters),
Virgin Atlantic Airways (6).
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