The Airbus A380 has been in service for over 16 months and a total of 13 of these monsters have been delivered to airlines around the world.
One of those airlines is Qantas, who use the plane on their Sydney-Los Angeles route.
Of course, a plane this big offers some major logistical challenges to designers, but the airports they visit get their fair share of hassles too.
Los Angeles airport has had to make special arrangements for the superjumbo, including shutting down service roads and halting other aircraft on taxiways when the plane is being positioned. The wingspan of the A380 is so big that it actually intrudes on the safety zone on either side of the tarmac.
When the A380 is ready for takeoff, air traffic controllers make sure their tower is fully staffed, and the plane receives priority over any other traffic. The plane is so big, that when it prepares to take off in bad weather, the tower tries to let it get airborne as soon as possible to prevent its jumbo size from blocking radio transmissions from airport towers.
Still, despite the hassles, the plane is a blessing for an airport suffering from the global decline in air traffic – LAX has lost 650 flights a day, and since airports make money off planes and passengers, having a superjumbo visit your airport is a sure way to make up for some of those losses.
(Via: LA Times Online)