27.04.2005
FLUG REVUE

First Flight NewsAirbus A380

The first A380 to take to the air landed at Blagnac international airport in Toulouse, France at 14.23 local time (12.23h GMT) on April 27, 2005, after successfully completing a first flight that lasted three hours and 54 minutes.

A380 Erstflug 2005

Die A380 hob am 27. April 2005 in Toulouse zu ihrem Jungfernflug ab (Foto: Airbus - Brinkmann).  

 

The A380’s first flight was jointly captained by Claude Lelaie, Senior Vice President Flight Division, and by Chief Test pilot and Vice President Jacques Rosay. The other crew members were Fernando Alonso, Vice President Flight Division, Flight Test Engineering who led a team of two other flight test engineers, Jacky Joye and Manfred Birnfeld, and test flight engineer Gérard Desbois. Carrying the registration F-WWOW, the aircraft is powered by four Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines.

After landing, the crew confirmed that the new aircraft and engines had handled as anticipated.

Claude Lelaie commented: “We had a very successful first flight and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. There are of course a lot of things to be done, but after this first experience, we now really sense the potential of this magnificent machine. And even on the ground, as already felt during the initial ground tests, the A380 handles as easily as any other aircraft. Also, the systems and the Rolls Royce engines performed satisfactorily.” And Jacques Rosay added: “Within the first minutes of the flight, we were impressed by the ease of handling of the aircraft which was in line with what we had felt in the simulator. We have no doubt any Airbus pilot would feel immediately at home in the A380; it is a true member of the Airbus aircraft family. We could also appreciate that the new features in the cockpit, including interactivity, vertical display, new interfaces that make the work of the crew very easy and efficient and I want to thank the customer airline pilots who have greatly contributed to this design.”

For its first flight, the A380 took off at a weight of 421 tonnes / 928.300 lbs, the highest ever of any civil airliner to date. During the flight, which took the aircraft around South West France, the six crew members explored the aircraft’s flight envelope as expected. They tested the A380’s handling using both direct and normal flight control laws with the landing gear up and down, and with all flaps’ and slats’ settings during the part of the flight at cruise altitude. They made an initial evaluation of the comfort levels in both the main and upper decks, confirming that the cabin was very quiet and the ride smooth.

This maiden voyage, during which all primary flight test objectives were met, marks the beginning of a rigorous test flight campaign involving five A380s, including one for the certification of the Engine Alliance GP7200 engine on the A380, and some 2,500 flight hours. It will culminate in the aircraft’s certification followed by its entry into airline service in the second half of 2006 with first operator Singapore Airlines. The scope and rigour of the A380 ground and flight test programme should also prepare for a smooth entry into service.



FLIGHT TEST CREW PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE A380

Moments after emerging from the cockpit of the A380 after its successful first flight, chief test pilot Jacques Rosay said flying the world’s biggest passenger jet had been “like handling a bicycle.”

As captain for the take-off and the initial part of the test flight, he lavished praise on the aircraft for its performance: “This aircraft is very, very easy to fly. Any Airbus pilot will feel immediately at ease with this aircraft, a pure member of the Airbus family.”

He described the take-off as “totally perfect” and paid tribute to the Airbus designers and the customer pilots who worked together to design the cockpit. “The cockpit makes the work for the crew easier and safer. It’s an excellent cockpit – and an excellent aircraft.”

Other members of the flight test crew also praised the aircraft’s performance. Claude Lelaie, senior vice president flight division at Airbus, who took over the captaincy for the second part of the test flight including the landing, said: “It was a great pleasure to perform this first flight on this marvellous aircraft.”

Fernando Alonso, chief flight test engineer and vice president flight test division, said the A380’s take-off weight for the first flight, at 421 tonnes, was the greatest take-off weight of any aircraft in the world. “In terms of systems everything worked fine,” he said. “It’s an extremely comfortable aircraft.”

Noël Forgeard, Airbus president and CEO, said he and Charles Champion, executive vice president for the A380 programme, were “extremely proud of everyone who made this happen”.


EADS sees A380 first flight as a take-off into a new era

Amsterdam, 27 April 2005  - EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services, regards the successful first flight of the Airbus A380 as a take-off into a new era of commercial aviation and into further growth of the company.

"The A380 sums up what we have been working towards at EADS since the company’s formation five years ago", the EADS CEOs said. "Our A380 combines the best technology and the best manufacturing in the world with a design which our customers have largely shaped themselves. Airbus has created something that is both marvellous for today, and will also be an aerospace icon for decades to come."

"Already leading the global market in commercial aviation, Airbus now has a comprehensive portfolio of aircraft able to carry between 104 and 555 passengers. With today's historic first flight, our A380 takes its place as the flagship of the Airbus fleet, offering passengers and airlines around the world unequalled quality, comfort and economy. For EADS, the door is now wide open to become a company with annual revenues of € 40 billion in the near future", EADS CEOs Philippe Camus and Rainer Hertrich said.

The CEOs underlined that "our A380 programme is also the most visible result of the successful integration of our industry in Europe. The successful EADS merger allowed for the industrial integration of Airbus and created the technology base, financial clout and market appreciation required to pursue such an ambitious and strong investment."

The strong order book for the A380 already stands at 154 aircraft, demonstrating that the aircraft will be the driver of growth of Airbus and EADS for many years to come. The test flight programme and certification process is expected to continue over the next months prior to the first commercial deliveries and flights in 2006.

Camus and Hertrich commented: “We would like to thank the Flight Crew for their outstanding achievement. Like other historic ventures the success of our A380 programme depended on the combined efforts of thousands of talented people inside and outside of Airbus, not just in Europe but internationally. Under the leadership of Noel Forgeard and Gustav Humbert, teams from all over the world have been working towards this day for many years and we would like to thank each and every one of them for their outstanding contribution. From the creation of Airbus in 1967, through the successive launches of the entire Airbus family of aircraft to the formation of EADS in 2000 there have been many steps along the way to today’s achievement. All those involved can be very proud today."

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2004, EADS generated revenues of Euro 31.8 billion and employed a workforce of about 110,000. The EADS Group includes the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, the world's largest helicopter supplier Eurocopter and the joint venture MBDA, the international leader in missile systems. EADS is the major partner in the Eurofighter consortium, is the prime contractor for the Ariane launcher, develops the A400M military transport aircraft and is the largest industrial partner for the European satellite navigation system Galileo.

 

A380, THE 21ST CENTURY FLAGSHIP, SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES ITS FIRST FLIGHT

APRIL  27,  2005  - The first A380 to take to the air landed at Blagnac international airport in Toulouse, France at 14.23 local time (12.23h UTC) after successfully completing its first flight that lasted three hours and 54 minutes. The A380’s first flight was jointly captained by Claude Lelaie, Senior Vice President Flight Division, and by Chief Test pilot and Vice President Jacques Rosay. The other crew members were Fernando Alonso, Vice President Flight Division, Flight Test Engineering who led a team of two other flight test engineers, Jacky Joye and Manfred Birnfeld, and test flight engineer Gérard Desbois. Carrying the registration F-WWOW, the aircraft is powered by four Rolls Royce Tent 900 engines.

After landing, joint captains Claude Lelaie Senior Vice President of Airbus’ Flight Division and Vice President Chief Test Pilot Jacques Rosay confirmed that the new aircraft and engines had handled as anticipated.

Claude Lelaie commented: “We had a very successful first flight and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. There are of course a lot of things to be done, but after this first experience, we now really sense the potential of this magnificent machine. And even on the ground, as already felt during the initial ground tests, the A380 handles as easily as any other aircraft. Also, the systems and the Rolls Royce engines performed satisfactorily.” And Jacques Rosay added: “Within the first minutes of the flight, we were impressed by the ease of handling of the aircraft which was in line with what we had felt in the simulator. We have no doubt any Airbus pilot would feel immediately at home in the A380; it is a true member of the Airbus aircraft family. We could also appreciate that the new features in the cockpit, including interactivity, vertical display, new interfaces that make the work of the crew very easy and efficient and I want to thank the customer airline pilots who have greatly contributed to this design.”

For his part, Airbus President and CEO Noël Forgeard thanked the crew for their performance: “I wish to congratulate Claude Lelaie, Jacques Rosay, Fernando Alonso and the rest of the team for this successful first flight. I also sincerely thank all those in the design offices, at programme and manufacturing level, as well as the ground crews who, through their ceaseless hard work, have made this day come true. The same thanks are extended all those at the airlines who contributed to the design of the aircraft as well as the suppliers, airport specialists and many others who helped define this all-new 21st century flagship that has now taken to the air.”

For its first flight, the A380 took off at a weight of 421 tonnes / 928.300 lbs, the highest ever of any civil airliner to date. During the flight, which took the aircraft around South West France, the six crew members explored the aircraft’s flight envelope as expected. They tested the A380’s handling using both direct and normal flight control laws with the landing gear up and down, and with all flaps’ and slats’ settings during the part of the flight at cruise altitude. They made an initial evaluation of the comfort levels in both the main and upper decks, confirming that the cabin was very quiet and the ride smooth.

This maiden voyage, during which all primary flight test objectives were met, marks the beginning of a rigorous test flight campaign involving five A380s, including one for the certification of the Engine Alliance GP7200 engine on the A380, and some 2,500 flight hours. It will culminate in the aircraft’s certification followed by its entry into airline service in the second half of 2006 with first operator Singapore Airlines. The scope and rigour of the A380 ground and flight test programme should also prepare for a smooth entry into service.

During the entire development phase, a lot of work was done to ensure that this all-new large double-decker will be able to operate on existing runways capable of accepting the 747, with no requirement for any significant infrastructure adaptation. Some 60 airports will be ready to welcome A380 operations by 2010, and more will join as the number of operators continues to increase in the coming years.

A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE Systems.



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