Airbus A380 makes first touch-down at Paris airport

1st June 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 1, 2007 (AFP) - The new Airbus A380 superjumbo, the world's biggest passenger aircraft, landed for the first time at Paris' main international airport on Thursday for a series of handling tests.

PARIS, June 1, 2007 (AFP) - The new Airbus A380 superjumbo, the world's biggest passenger aircraft, landed for the first time at Paris' main international airport on Thursday for a series of handling tests.

The double-decker behemoth with a wingspan the size of a football pitch descended smoothly through overcast skies to touch down on runway three at Charles de Gaulle airport at 12:32 pm (1032 GMT).

Some 500 people -- airport staff, guests and journalists -- watched the A380 MSN007, which set off from Airbus headquarters in the southeastern French city of Toulouse, make its maiden descent to the airport.

The plane, which has already landed at 45 airports across the world, will remain in Paris until Sunday to assess its airport manoeuverability and terminal parking capability, before heading off on a three-nation Asian tour.

From mid-2008, a new boarding satellite is to open at Roissy, capable of accommodating six of the giant aircraft, which weighs 562 tonnes and has a wingspan of more than 261 feet (80 meters).

The plane is capable of carrying more than 800 passengers in an all economy-class configuration, and 555 in a standard three-class set-up.

"The A380's arrival at Charles de Gaulle is a very important symbol," Airbus chairman Louis Gallois told AFP.

"As we have done in Frankfurt, Washington or Los Angeles, it is time for the aircraft to discover Charles de Gaulle because that will be its playing field," he said, pointing out that Air France would be the first European airline to operate the A380, starting in mid-2009.

The first A380 for commercial use is scheduled to be delivered to Singapore Airlines in October. Delivery had been planned for last year but was delayed because of production problems, notably with the aircraft's electrical cabling.

The aircraft leaves France on Sunday for Japan, Australia and Taiwan where it will make a series of demonstration flights, touching down at Tokyo's Narita airport before heading to Sydney and Taipei.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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