For various reasons I won’t bore you with, I haven’t posted here much. And so I missed marking the occasion as it happened. But the big behemoth got off the ground at last and had, « by all accounts », a very successful first four hours of flight:
‘The long-awaited test lasted almost four hours, with the A380 circling the Bay of Biscay before returning to base. … Jacques Rosay, who flew the A380 during take-off, said the plane behaved “immaculately” and that as a pilot “you handle it like you handle a bicycle”.’
Somehow, I don’t think it’s quite the same, Jacques, but we get the idea.
The commercial success of the behemoth is yet to be seen, but IHS aerospace reports that ‘15 customers have announced firm orders and commitments for a total of 154 A380 family aircraft, comprising 127 passenger aircraft from 13 customers and 27 freighters from four customers. The freighter version of the A380, the A380F, will enter into service in 2008.’
Airline service should start in just over a year.
It was an exciting and historic moment. Should be interesting to see what really taking a trip in one is actually like.