Airbus A380 was a Brilliant Aircraft

By Robert Mark on March 24th, 2007

Despite an edict from the City of Chicago’s Department of Aviation warning people away from O’Hare Airport on Tuesday, the A380 crew plunked it down nicely on runway 4 Right to the cheers of the limited crowds who were able to find a place to watch.

The city sent out a news release Tuesday telling the local riff raff they risked their vehicles being towed if they even appeared to clutter up the roads near the World’s Busiest Airport. And for those of you non-Chicagoans, yes, this is the same Mayor Richard M. Daley who sent his bulldozers out in the middle of the night a few years back to transform Meigs Field into a new lakeside park.

In a continuing search for the truth, however, this reporter risked being ticketed and towed – I had my Visa card with just in case though – and can only say that I watched a piece of history sail by for a few moments that day.

The A380 is a massive airplane with a length not much more than a 747-400, but a girth that looks like someone jammed a dozen elephants under the skin.

What amazed me was the comprehensive technological demonstration the aircraft put on as it passed overhead.

Surely the airplane was not at maximum landing weight, but even with all the drag it surely commanded a fair amount of power to cross the threshold. And from a noise perspective passing over head, as well as the noise it generated when it went into reverse after landing, the A380, will be a very quiet, yet formidable competitor.

There’s certainly plenty that has gone right in the process that brought the A380 to Chicago this week, but thousands of detours have slowed the process as well, much as it might with anyone who assumes the risks of building airplanes today. One problem is a massive credibility gap at Airbus between what the company promises and what it can deliver. 

I’d like to think I was watching the vanguard of a new segment in aviation and not merely an aircraft might follow the Concorde into the history books as a technological marvel that failed on the ledger sheet.

Technorati tags: , , , ,

Related Posts:

2 Responses to “Airbus A380 was a Brilliant Aircraft”

  1. The A380 goes large. : The Digital Aviator Says:

    […] than being too partisan. See the beastie land in JFK here. Rob Mark at Jetwhine is giving some positive coverage to the event and similar is happening […]

  2. Amitabh Mukherjee Says:

    I had witnessed A380 flying at Farnborough. It flew just after the A340 and my first impressions were: “it is considerably quiter than the A340.” Having worked on many systems (development as well as V&V), I for one would be extremely sad if A380 does not prove to be a commercial success. Some day perhaps I will fly in one!

Subscribe without commenting