The Airbus double-decker A380 has arrived for the first time in New York and Los Angeles on the first test flights to the US.Lufthansa and Qantas are testing the airports scheduled to accept the plane, which has a wingspan of 262 feet (80 meters), a fuselage 239 feet long and stands nearly 80 feet from the ground to the top of its tail.
Lufthansa has ordered Europe’s biggest fleet of the A380, and plans to make the plane its flagship aircraft once it receives the first shipment in 2009.
Deliveries will be late because of problems with wiring installation.
The Frankfurt flight landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport at 12:30 p.m. New York time.
The Qantas flight to LA is an important milestone for the company.
The Executive General Manager of Qantas, Mr John Borghetti, said Qantas would be the first to operate the A380 to Los Angeles, in the second half of 2008. “The A380 generates incredible levels of interest wherever it goes,” Mr Borghetti said. “Qantas has worked with Airbus, the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports to make the aircraft’s visit to the US west coast a reality.
“As well as being involved in ceremonial activities, the aircraft participated in valuable airport compatibility trials.”