Lufthansa readies for A380 test

The Airbus A380 will demonstrate its quality and operational maturity under
realistic conditions for the first time on a number of scheduled flights at the end
of March 2007.As innovation partners, Lufthansa and Airbus will be subjecting the
megaliner, certified last December, to over a week of practical testing as part of
its so-called Commercial Route Proving. A real premiere en-route is the first
landing of the A380 in the USA.

On Saturday, 17 March, the super jumbo, serial number 007, will arrive in Frankfurt
from Toulouse and take off with a first contingent of about 500 guests on board from
Frankfurt for New York on the following Monday. Up to Wednesday, 28 March, further
stops on its flight plan will be Hong Kong and Washington. At the close of its
route-proving, the A380 will also make a stopover in Munich.

 

With this progamme, Lufthansa is the first and exclusive Airbus route-proving
partner. “We are delighted at being alongside Airbus and supporting with our
know-how and experience both the development and practice-proving exercise of this
new aircraft type. The Airbus A380 as the new Lufthansa flagship will set new
standards in economy and ecological efficiency”, said Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chairman
of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

 

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On board the Airbus A380 will be mostly Lufthansa and Airbus employees, whose job is
to test the in-flight systems and equipment - from the air conditioning, the
lighting, and acoustics, through to the galleys and new-generation in-flight
entertainment systems. The flight deck will be manned by both Airbus test pilots and
experienced Lufthansa pilots, while cabin service will be in the hands of Lufthansa
flight attendants.

 

At its central hub in Frankfurt, Lufthansa will take the opportunity to rigorously
test the entire ground infrastructure for the A380. The airline intends, for
example, to match the turnaround time of the new aircraft from landing to take-off
with that of the much smaller long-haul jets already in operation.

 

Lufthansa was also the Airbus manufacturer’s exclusive partner in the previous test
and development phases of the A380, such as the crucial evacuation test at the end
of March last year as well as the new jet’s Early Long Flights (ELF) in September
2006. The airline was also involved in the long-haul programme leading to
certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the American FAA in
December. 

 

In total Lufthansa has placed orders for 15 of this new wide-bodied aircraft and has
thus placed the largest order of any European airline. Lufthansa expects delivery of
its first Airbus A380 in summer 2009.


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