3 November 2007

Flying Palace in the Air-Airbus A380

THE AIRBUS A380 , just completed its maiden commercial flight in the afternoon of 25th October, 2007 carrying 455 passengers including 11 Indians -the youngest was a ten month-old boy from Sigapore and the oldest was one 91-year old Californian, from Singapore to Sydney. The AirbusA380 is perhaps more than a palace. The passangers of its maiden flight were from 35 countries. The aircraft was as tall as a seven-storey building and half a football field long. It has put the great Boeing 747's 37-year supremacy in a dim second position. As far as India is concerned-none of her airports is capable of handling the super jumbo right now. When ready it will be Hyderabad to see the first commercial flight by March next year.Bangalore is next in the line followed by Delhi. Calcutta and Chennai airports are in the process of modernisation and they can follow suit as and when they are ready.Air India is considering to buy 10 of the RS 1267 crores planes for its most congested routes like Mumbai-New York. But it is most unlikely that A380 will be available to Air India before 2011 as the company has already got orders of 165 planes from international carriers. Kingfisher is expected to get by 2011 the first of the five A380s it has already ordered for its European and US routes. Kingfisher's contact with the Airbus specifies it has to be the first Indian airline to operate A380. So Air India will have to wait till the first A380 will have been sold to the Bangalore-based private airline. The A380 burns 17 per cent less fuel per seat than today's largest aircraft. This is the most significant step forward in reducing aircraft fuel burn and resultant emissions in four decades. Low fuel burn means low CO2 emissions. In fact the A380 produces only 75g of CO2 per passenger and per km, almost half of the target set by the European Union for cars manufactured in 2008. With the A380, which offers more space per passenger in all classes, CO2 footprint per passenger has never been so small. Low-noise characteristics have been a major design driver for the A380. As a result the aircraft is significantly quieter than other large aircraft and offers substantial margins in relation to the latest (ICAO Stage 4) noise limits. producing half the noise energy at take off and cutting the area exposed to equivalent noise levels around the airport runway by half. ...advantages: With its three decks for cargo, the A380F freighter version is able to carry 50 per cent more freight than its closest rival – and to fly a full 1,400nm further. Yet with its advanced technology and use of weight-saving composites – 25 per cent of its structure is made from composite materials – the A380F also burns 18 per cent less fuel per tonne than its rival. Now let us take an overview of the 'Flying Palace'-Airbus A380 which is largest aircraft on the planet. Fernando Alonso, chief flight test engineer and vice president flight test division, said the A380’s take-off weight for the first flight, at 421 tonnes, was the greatest take-off weight of any aircraft in the world. “In terms of systems everything worked fine,” he said. “It’s an extremely comfortable aircraft.

What will the A380 change for me as a passenger? The A380 will provide more comfort in every class. This is possible because the A380 offers 50 per cent more floor space but will typically carry only 35 per cent more passengers. Some of the benefits will come as wider seats even for Economy class, some as more spacious aisles and galleys areas to stretch your legs. Regardless of how airlines plan their seats and services, the design of the A380 cabin ensures low noise level throughout and up to 15 per cent more stowage space for your carry-on luggage.In addition, the cabin will benefit from advanced lighting systems and new standards of in flight entertainment, which will greatly enhance your overall travel experience.These advances in cabin comfort are particularly important for the long haul routes such as London-Singapore and Los Angeles-Sydney. How many passengers will I be flying with? The A380 is designed to carry 555 passengers in a typical seating configuration, including an Economy, a Business and a First class. However most airlines have actually indicated that they may have fewer seats than this. In any case, you will not feel crowded thanks to the width of the two separate widebody decks as each will provide more space for everyone. Which airlines have so far announced firm orders and commitments for the A380? To date, Airbus has received 154 orders and commitments from 15 customers. These are (in alphabetical order): Air France, China Southern Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Federal Express, International Lease Finance, Korean Air Lines, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas Airways, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International, UPS and Virgin Atlantic Airways Is the A380 the most technologically advanced aircraft to date? The A380 combines the very latest technologies for materials, systems and industrial processes. It meets the most stringent international certification requirements. The A380 is not only the most spacious civil jetliner ever built, it is also the most advanced - representing a unique technology platform from which all future commercial Airbus aircraft will evolve.Each new technology developed, tested and adopted for the A380 has been carefully studied to determine its effects over the lifetime of the aircraft, and has been selected for its proven reliability and long-term benefits. Will the economy class also benefit from more space or will it be only for the business and first classes? The main deck of the A380 is wider than that of any commercial jetliner in operation today. Its extra floor space will benefit everyone aboard and will give airlines new opportunities to create innovative cabin arrangement for the greater comfort of all passengers. Regardless of how airlines arrange their seats and services, even the economy class will be wider. High capacity overhead bins and the latest generation of in flight entertainment will also significantly enhance passenger comfort