Airbus A380 production finally getting up to speed – 30th plane delivered

The Airbus A380 launch got off to a very rocky start – delayed deliveries and a sagging economy made this mega-jumbo look pretty bleak for some time. Thankfully, Airbus seems to have found the right rhythm, because they are now on target to deliver 20 of them in 2010.

On Thursday, the European aviation consortium delivered its 30th A380 to Dubai based Emirates, making it the tenth A380 in their fleet. At $346 million each – this is no cheap plane, but that has not stopped airlines ordering 202 of them.

Despite all the fanfare over which airplane builder is better – the A380 is an amazing plane, and one that is quickly on its way to becoming a common sight at airports around the world.

Airbus A380 to become the new Air Force One?

Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer and largest competitor to Boeing, is reportedly working on an offer to provide the President with their A380 super jumbo to replace the outdated fleet of VC-25’s currently being used.

Of course, the whole thing is probably a great way to generate some PR for Airbus, as I don’t think there is a chance in hell that the United States would fly our president around the world in a European built plane (not that there is anything wrong with the A380!).

There are other reasons why I don’t think President Obama would ever pick Airbus to replace Air Force One – Boeing has its headquarters in his home state of Illinois.

Still, the article does point out several reasons why the A380 would be a great choice for the new presidential carrier – emissions are about 25% lower than the 747, despite being a whopping 50% larger. It also produces 50% less cabin noise.

Still, if the new administration is seriously looking to spend $700 Million for these 2 new planes, they’d better do it soon, before you know it, there won’t be any cash left to spend on luxury items like this. Lets just hope that they are not looking at the A380 sardine can version recently purchased by this French Airline.

The press claim this A380 would become the new “Air Obama” but failed to realize that the Air Force won’t be needing the new jet till 2017, long after Obama ends his one or two terms. By then, the current Air Force One fleet will be 30 years old.

Airbus 380 Delayed

Gadling blogged about Airbus’ flagship plane A380 before. Looks like we are going to have to wait six more months before Airbus deliverers their first A380. The first plane was supposed to have been delivered to Qantas in October 2006, but Airbus pushed it back to April 2007. Qantas is “disappointed.”

Interestingly enough, none of the American airlines have expressed real interest in the A380. According to BBC, among the biggest customers so far are Emirates (43 planes ordered), Lufthansa (15) and Qantas (12).

Timing aside, does Qantas honestly need planes that fit 800 people? Will they be flying the entire population of Australia back and forth every time they fly this thing? Does anyone need a plane to fit that many people? The prospect of boarding 800 people in a timely fashion scares me. I can just imagine it now: “Now boarding passengers in rows 120-140…”

Wasn’t this plane supposed to make flying easier?