Airbus A380 goes high-tech with Homer Simpson!
Even before I got my degree in Aero/Astro Engineering, I've been
interested in aviation. Ironically, I now provide computer
support for rocket scientists ... literally! ;-)
I've seen quite a few flying machines -
many in person including the Concorde and Space Shuttle - liftoff and
landing on the later. But one I have yet to see is the
Airbus A380 which had its first flight on April 27th, 2005.
This is now the largest passenger airplane - bigger than the 747 and C-5.
I don't think the Airbus A380 will be coming to DIA anytime soon (although the
AN-225 comes occasionally to haul rocket stuff), so I'll probably have to
catch it at the handful of airports that it will fly out of.
While I'm waiting for that photo op, here's a few pictures of it
along with some other aviation pictures that I've taken.
The Airbus A380 is somewhat unique as it is a double-decker all the way back - think of a 747 with the upper deck extended. When that airplane was introduced back in the early 70's, cocktail lounges and even piano bars were on-board, but these soon went away for economic reasons - my guess is the same will happen with the A380. Except for the size (which presents some ground handling challenges), there's nothing that "new" about the airplane - doesn't fly any higher, faster, or farther than airplanes that are out there now.
BTW, Boeing has an opposite point of view than Airbus of the commercial airline market, believing that smaller long-range planes for more point to point service are desired, rather than large planes between hubs. For example, the 707 and then the 747 used to be the main mode of transportation across the Atlantic between major hubs such as New York, Paris, and London. But now, smaller twin-engine aircraft make up the vast majority of traffic, going between smaller city pairs. This fragementation has started occurring in the Pacific also - hey, wouldn't you rather take the non-stop flight?!? ;-) Having said that, it seems to me there will be a place for the Airbus A380 in high density markets and as a niche player - for instance, Virgin Atlantic says they'll put a casino on board.
Should be interesting to see what happens and I'm sure one of these years, I'll get to see (and ride) in the Airbus A380. And while a lot smaller than the Airbus A380, the Blue Angels are a pretty nifty airplane to look at too!