Europe hails maiden flight of the superjumbo – News and Comment – Times Online — My question is, will it be luxurious or just another cattle car.

The largest passenger aircraft in the world, the Airbus A380, touched down safely this afternoon after Europe’s most eagerly awaited maiden flight since Concorde lifted its nose from the same French runway in 1969.

Thirty thousand enthusiasts from around Europe cheered as the massive double-decker airliner, designed to carry 555 passengers, but with room for more than 800, landed at Toulouse-Blagnac airport.

  1. Miguel Lopes says:

    It’s obviously designed to carry cattle. It’s in no way an elegant design. Luxury transportation seems to favor elegant designs – just look at the Concorde, corporate jets, and luxury liners. They all look cool! The A380 doesn’t.

    Is the 747 Jumbo jet used as a luxury transport or to haul cattle? There’s the answer. The 380 is just an Uber Jumbo.

    Boeing’s response has been surprisingly feeble. The 787 doesn’t really bring anything new to the market – maybe fuel economy… The Sonic Cruiser died, although it arguably was innovative… Can’t affordable supersonic be done? Maybe Boeing should try the lifting body cattle carrier they designed a while ago. That would be revolutionary and carry more than a thousand passengers…

    Of course, the biggest worry of everyone is – when – not if – one falls, hundreds upon hundreds will die!!!

  2. g quaglia says:

    I’m betting on cattle car.

  3. Ed Campell says:

    Although “economy” seating gets you up over 800 [ugh!], virtually every carrier pre-ordering has announced the 550 seat configuration. As for getting your knickers tweaked over how the exterior looks, I’ve always flown on the inside of critters like this.

    Seems to me when I was crawling the web for numbers, the last time we discussed the A-380, they said 160 sales was the break-even point.

    NWI-TV’s coverage, today, said they’ve already sold 154.

  4. Carmi says:

    Reading historical accounts of the Boeing 747 launch, it becomes clear that airlines of the time expended enormous amount of ink explaining what they would do with all the extra space. It didn’t take long for the economies of flight to take hold: within a couple of years, every jumbo was retrofitted with lots more seats. The bars, sleepers and massage stations disappeared out of deference to pure economics.

    The same thing will happen with the A380. Richard Branson makes much hay about the amenities he’ll put into his first planes. But when the world’s attention has moved on, he’ll be slapping in seats as well, just as his 747-flying forebears did a generation ago.


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