Airbus super jumbo begins global test flight
The world's largest passenger plane landed at Changi Airport in Singapore after a flight of more than 12 hours.india Updated: Nov 14, 2006 15:13 IST
An Airbus A380 arrived in Singapore on Tuesday in the first stop of a round-the-world series of test flights before the super jumbo can be certified as fit for commercial flying.
The world's largest passenger plane landed at Changi Airport after a flight of more than 12 hours from Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France.
The plane, on the first of 10 stops over 17 days of technical tests, needs to complete 150 hours of flying time to simulate the pressures of a typical airline schedule.
The test aircraft is scheduled to depart for Seoul on Wednesday. It will also stop at Hong Kong, Japan's Narita, Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai in China, Johannesburg, Sydney and Vancouver.
Airbus is racing against time to deal with production delays caused by wiring problems.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) is set to be the first carrier to fly the A380 after three delays.
FedEx Corp, the world's largest express delivery group, cancelled its order for 10 A380-800F freighter aircraft earlier this month, opting instead to buy planes from rival US manufacturer Boeing.
Emirates, the biggest purchaser, said last month it would send its own audit team to Airbus before entering talks to address the two-year delay. Emirates has 43 of the $300-million superjumbos on order.
SIA was originally supposed to receive its first A380 early this year, but Airbus said it will now be delivered in October of next year.
If all the tests are passed, the A380 will be on course to receive export certification in mid-December.
The A380, which can carry 555 passengers in a three-class configuration, also needs to undergo commercial testing to ensure it meets the specifications of individual airlines.