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What a beast!

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

What a beast!

After following all the documentaries over the years about the Airbus A380 I finally got to see one today in the flesh. It was worth the 170 mile round trip from my house to the NI Air show here.
Not sure why they decided to show off their landing gear during the display, not like there was anywhere nearby they could have landed the thing.
On a sad note, it is quite scary, the potential loss of life, the first time one of these falls out of the sky which is statistically inevitable.
19 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: What a beast!

BBC news reports that it did a low pass over Edinburgh airport as well. I'm not sure if it could land and take off there with a useful load ?.
But it is standard practise at airshows to do low passes with the gear down - i.e approach in a standard approach configuration and then go around at final decision height, but maybe with just enough power to fly level down the runway.
I look forward to seeing one .
Regarding an accident - yes that is inevitable one day - just like the 747 etc - but how many 747's, A340's etc  have crashed and killed all on board - not that many compared to the millions of safe flights they have flown.
How many large ships with 1,000's aboard have been in involved in tragedy - not many.
How noisy was it compared to other types ?
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: What a beast!

It was surprisingly quiet but I know that is something they were aiming for in the engine design from what I remember from all the programs I watched.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: What a beast!

I wonder if it had Rolls Royce Trent's or GP7000's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A380
I know the Trent's are VERY quite - it's derived from the brilliant RB211 - and presumably GP7000's are quite too
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: What a beast!

It had Rolls Royce Trent's. I looked closely at one the full 8 mega pixel photos I took and the badge can be seen on the side of the engine. It looks like the Rolls Royce badge same as pictured in that article you linked to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:A380-trent900.JPG
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: What a beast!

If you think that's big - look at the Beluga - the A300 modified to carry Airbus fuselages and wings .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_Beluga
Are  Shorts in Belfast involved with Airbus ?Huh
[edit - modified link - thanks Santiago
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: What a beast!

Look at the cockpit - looks like a computer keyboard in prominent position in the cockpit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Airbus_A380_cockpit.jpg
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: What a beast!

I have seen the Beluga but it is smaller than the A380. Airbus were not able to use it to transport A380 parts so had to transport them over land through this little village. Not sure if they are still doing this.
Believe it or not the A380 is only the largest passenger plane but not the largest plane in the world: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-225
As for the cockpit, I would just hope that all those computers are not running Windows  Grin and the plane can still be flown when the technology fails.
I quite like the fact that most existing planes like Boeing's 737 are "power assisted" but new Airbuses are entirely "fly by wire" which puts the trust entirely in the electronics.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: What a beast!

Mal, your Beluga link is not working. Think you need to add an 'a'
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: What a beast!

Forgot to mention, I don't think Shorts are involved but I could be wrong. A380 wings are made in England and obviouly the engines but I think the rest of it is from mainland Europe.
I did work experience in shorts many years ago and they only built Learjets and the wings for the Apache aswell as the engine casing for the Apache. They are owned by Bombardier which just thinking of it they could be building parts for the dash 8 Q400 turboprop that flybe use.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: What a beast!

Shame - given Belfast's contribution to ocean liners - even if one famous one did hit an iceberg - either Titantic or Olympic ?Huh
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: What a beast!

I am sure you would be surprized to hear that Harland and Wolf, where that famous unsinkable ship was built, is now building huge wind turbines, too small now to compete and build modern day ships.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: What a beast!

Not what it says in Wiki, but the Antonav Heavy lift operated out of Stansted for a while and then went to Darwin, Aus I would not have thought that Luton was big enough for it
Stansted 10000 ft
Luton 7037
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: What a beast!

Tried searching the airbus site - but couldn't find the runway length requirements, but just the statement that it can operate on any runway that a B747 can.
But of course it depends on the take off weight, passengers, cargo and fuel. I've seen 747's operate out of Edinburgh airport about 8,500 feet runway - but they are not common.
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Re: What a beast!

I wonder how it would cope with Princess Juliana International Airport. Smiley
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