Monday, March 19, 2007

Airbus A380 arrives in the U.S.

A380It's here. The world's newest and largest airliner, the Airbus A380, touched down at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York at 12:10 EDT today. An Washington Post report about the historic event  says that as the plane taxied, a pilot waved an American flag.

Operating as Lufthansa Flight 8940, the first flight from Frankfurt to New York is a part of Lufthansa's route proving program for the mega-jumbo aircraft. Moments after the landing at JFK, another A380 landed at Los Angeles.
The first U.S. flights are a chance for the European plane builder Airbus and German airline Lufthansa AG to show off the jewel of Airbus' offerings to potential American buyers and to the airports they hope to turn into flight bases for the jet. The 239-foot-long A380 can seat as many as 550 passengers, hold 81,890 gallons of fuel, cruise at 560 mph and fly some 8,000 nautical miles.

Lufthansa Flight 8940 is meant to be a statement by Airbus that it can accommodate vast numbers of travelers comfortably and efficiently. [Washington Post]
For more details, visit the special Airbus website about the A380 Route Proving program. The site has information about the aircraft, the proving routes, and the crew, as well as A380 screensaver and wallpaper downloads for your computer. You might also be interested to have a look at Touch-down A380 USA, a blog by Lufthansa employees about the new aircraft's first visit to the United States.

Here's a link to a Wall Street Journal video about the Airbus A380.

[Photo Source]