PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Blagnac, France, 2005/04/27 - Thousands cheered the world's largest jetliner, ending the historic maiden flight for a plane that Airbus hopes will carry it to a market leadership..
The A380 performed its maiden flight at Blagnac international airport in Toulouse with a six-member test flight crew on-board. The multi-national crew has undergone its own thorough pre-flight preparations to be ready for this momentous occasion, including a “virtual first flight campaign” using a simulator with actual A380 on-board computers and real cockpit systems.
The jet carried 22 tons of test instruments plus extra ballast to increase its total takeoff weight to 464 tons, or about 75 percent of its maximum authorized takeoff weight for commercial flights — but already a new record for a civil airliner.
"C'est magnifique - It's magnificent" said Jean Begue, who worked as an industrial director on the early stages of the A380s program.
Airbus CEO N. Forgeard plays down the 787's development lead, saying the battle for the market in smaller planes will be fought over twenty years, not two. He called the A380's development a "fantastic collective european effort."
The success of Airbus supports 140,000 jobs in the U.S., with the company spending $6.9 billion last year with American companies, McArtor told guests. Some 46 per cent of parts, components and systems used to build Airbus aircraft in 2004 had come from America, making Airbus the biggest export customer to the US aerospace industry.
About Airbus Industries
Airbus, an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS, is a leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line.
Source Airbus.com : airbus.com/airbus4u/articles_detail.asp?ae_id=1675