Apologies for the slightly confusing title – this is a video you need to see to really understand how cool it is. If you don’t have the time (or patience), scroll ahead to the forty second mark and watch the beauty of the Airbus A380 as it passes under this KLM Boeing 747 – just 1000 feet away.
This really was a rare opportunity for the crew of the KLM to record this event, and we’d like to thank them for taking the time to shoot it.
Of all the things that can disable a $300 million plane – a broken catering truck has to be one of the more embarrassing.
Sadly, this is the fate of Emirates A6-EDE, the seventeenth Airbus A380, delivered to the airline in April of 2009.
During a routine catering delivery at Toronto airport, the scissor lift on the truck broke, smashing the truck body onto the wing of the jet.
The plane has been taken out of service while repairs are made to the damaged wing. No passengers were on the aircraft at the time and the exact extent of the damage has not yet been determined, but repairs are estimated to take several weeks. For more photos of the incident, head on over to Cargolaw.com.
A Qantas A380 en route from London via Singapore to Sydney had a catastrophic engine failure 15 minutes into its flight. After departing Singapore, passengers reported hearing a loud “bang” followed by showers of sparks from one of its engines. Looking out the window, people on board the super jumbo could see parts of the engine skin peeled off, exposing foam and broken wires.
The engine parts started raining down on Batam, Indonesia – some as large as a door. There are thankfully no reports of injuries on the ground.
Despite the horrific looking damage, jetliners are designed to fly on 50% of their engines, so the plane was not at risk of crashing, though the cause of the blown Rolls-Royce engine will certainly be one that requires very close examination.
The plane circled Singapore to dump fuel in preparation for an emergency landing, which happened without incident. Because of the seriousness of the engine failure, Qantas grounded their entire A380 fleet.
In searching for a cause, one expert pointed to a volcanic eruption in Indonesia, and investigators will most certainly be looking very closely at the engine parts to determine whether volcanic ash may have contributed to the accident.
Emirates, the world’s largest customer of the Airbus A380 just announced that its entire fleet of super jumbos will be outfitted with in-flight Internet and mobile phone technology by 2012. The service is provided by Swiss firm OnAir, and will offer voice calls, data and text messaging on its entire route network using Inmarsat SwiftBroadband satellites.
According to Emirates, the technology has been fully certified by the aircraft manufacturer. The CEO of OnAir said: “There is no question about it being safe.” And to be honest, I trust them 100% – because OnAir is a joint venture of aviation IT firm SITA and Airbus, the company that builds the A380, so they do know a thing or two about their own planes.
The timing is great, as our very own Heather Poole explained in a Galley Gossip article why she demands mobile phones be turned off – it is the law, and she enforces it. Of course, once the airlines start finding ways to make money off in-flight calls, the dangers of mobile phone usage will quickly be forgotten. Obviously, the new technology still won’t allow for calls during the takeoff and landing stage of a flight, just to be on the safe side (and prevent phones from becoming projectiles).
The first Emirates A380 with OnAir service will be ready by June 2012, so one can only hope that passengers learn some basic in-flight phone call etiquette by then.
Dubai based Emirates just placed a whopping $11.5 billion order for 32 Airbus A380’s. This is in addition to the ten they currently own and the 48 they still have on order – which instantly makes them the largest customer of the super jumbo. Once all their orders are delivered, Emirates will operate a fleet of 90 A380’s – worth about $30 billion.