Airbus is set to carry out the maiden test flight of its A380 ‘super-jumbo’, the world’s largest passenger jet today. Thousands of aircraft enthusiasts are already lining the runway in southern France to witness the twin-deck plane taking to the air for the first time.
Airbus, which is owned by European firm EADS and the UK’s BAE Systems, sees the A380 as the future of air travel.
Arch-rival Boeing has instead chosen to focus on mid-sized short-haul aircraft.
The A380 - designed to carry more than 500 people between major airports - is due to take off from its production site in Toulouse, southern France.
The six strong crew are expected to take the plane out over the Bay of Biscay, before returning to base. More than 50,000 people are predicted to watch the take off, which will also be broadcast live on television.