Feeds

Airbus rolls out A380

Fanfare of trumpets for world's biggest passenger airliner

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Airbus this morning rolled out its twin deck, 555-seat A380 superjumbo at a celeb-packed ceremony in Toulouse.

Politicians including Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac queued up to praise the €11bn project: the latter hailed it as the "crowning achievement of a human and industrial adventure" while the former confirmed the A380 as "the most exciting new aircraft in the world, a symbol of economic strength and technical innovation".

The Airbus A380

The A380 has already attracted orders from 11 airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic included. Totals orders are reported as 149 aircraft, well on the way to the 250 unit break-even figure estimated by Airbus chief executive Noel Forgeard.

It is not all, however, clear blue skies for the A380 project. Earlier this year, Virgin announced that it was postponing delivery of its first A380 until 2007, due to "delays in airports - particularly that of Los Angeles (LAX) - preparing to receive the enormous aircraft". The company also reported difficulties in obtaining kit to customise the behemoth's interior.

Unsuprisingly, the A380's budget has attracted some concern, notably in the area of government "launch aid loans" without which pundits speculate the aircraft would never have got off the ground.

For its part, Airbus is playing it cool on the matter of a possible €1.5bn overspend. Airbus commercial director John Leahy told the BBC: "That sounds quite a lot of money until you realise you are dealing with a programme which is about €11bn."

Rival Boeing, meanwhile, is directing its energies into smaller aircraft, notably the 7E7 Dreamliner (Flash site) - already ordered by Continental, Japan and Vietnam Airlines.

The A380 will make its first flight in April. Deliveries of the aircraft begin in 2006. ®

Related stories

Airbus behemoth faces the press
A380 Airbus suffers Virgin knock-back
Airbus offers MS a lift

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.