I was privileged to have been invited to fly the Airbus A380 in Toulouse last week. I think it took about 4 seconds for me to decide when I was asked if I wanted the job of flying, evaluating and then writing up my findings on a few new pieces of on-board electronics to this big bird. The assignment came with the chance to spend an hour or so at the tiller and the side stick of the 380. The major results of my evaluation will be found in an upcoming story on the aircraft in Aviation International News.
The day after returning from France, I headed out to our local airport restaurant to wow some of my Saturday morning airport pals with tales from the large side of the industry. At maximum gross weight, the A380 weighs in at just over 1.2 million pounds. I think my first Cessna Citation tipped the scales at around 13,000 pounds.
The day I returned from France too, my friend Addison Schonland from Innovation Analysis Group (IAG) called to ask whether I had any fun on the flight. Within a few minutes of listening to me bubble over with enthusiasm for the event, he decided we needed to record a podcast for his show. We did.
So sit back and listen in as two airplane geeks – sorry Court and Max, we’re just borrowing the title for a minute – talk a bit about the ins and outs of flying the largest commercial aircraft in the world. It was a gas. My thanks to the folks at Airbus in Toulouse for offering up the opportunity. Wonder if it’s time to turn in that RJ photo at the top of the Jetwhine logo for an A380? Mmmm.
Flying the A380 (click to listen). Rob Mark