Airbus takes superjumbo for a spin in Ethiopia

17th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

ADDIS ABABA, Oct 17, 2006 (AFP) - Aviation giant Airbus on Tuesday began evaluating its superjumbo A380 for high-altitude performance over Ethiopia in its maiden test flights from an African airport, the company said.

ADDIS ABABA, Oct 17, 2006 (AFP) - Aviation giant Airbus on Tuesday began evaluating its superjumbo A380 for high-altitude performance over Ethiopia in its maiden test flights from an African airport, the company said.

The fifth developmental model of the double-decker behemoth that has been beset by production delays arrived at Bole International Airport in the Ethiopian capital late on Monday, Airbus said.

Bole, at 7,500 feet above sea level, was chosen for the testing "to validate the engines' performance from high altitude airports," it said in a statement recieved here.

The plane, identified as A380 MSN009, is powered by four GP7200 Engine Alliance engines that can deliver thrust of up to 81,500 pounds each, and 82 models of that make have been ordered by six airlines, it said.

On completion of the tests in Ethiopia at the end of the week, the aircraft, which rolled off the production line in August, is to be flown to the United Arab Emirates for hot weather performance evaluations, the company said.

The A380, with an average seating capacity of 555, will be the world's largest passenger aircraft when it enters service, but deliveries have been hit by a series of delays that have roiled the company and its parent firm, European aerospace group EADS.

Earlier this month, EADS, announced that deliveries would be delayed by another year, the program's third setback since June 2005, taking total delays to about two years.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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