A380 begins test tour

The Airbus’ A380 MSN009 test aircraft, powered by the new Engine Alliance GP7000 engines is to embark on a series of four tours as part of its technical route proving.During this certification exercise, which aims at accumulating 150 hours of typical airline continuous operation, the A380 will visit destinations in South America, North America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

The A380 will first go to Bogota, Colombia (26 and 27 September), returning to its home base in Toulouse, South West France. It will then fly to the USA, landing at Windsor Locks, Connecticut; Hebron, Kentucky and San Francisco, California (2 till 5 October) and back to Toulouse. The route proving will continue, flying to Dubai; Melbourne, Australia; and Manilla in the Philippines and back to Dubai before returning to Toulouse (8 to 13 October). The next destinations to be visited are Bogota, Colombia; Vancouver, Canada and Osaka, Japan (15 to 19 October).

During the technical route proving tour, the A380 will demonstrate that it can be turned around under normal airline operating conditions. The same tours were successfully completed by test aircraft powered by Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines in 2006. Tests will cover, amongst other things, checks on standard aircraft maintenance and behavior, as well as typical airport operations and compatibility, confirming the aircraft’s readiness for entry into service. Type certification for the A380 fitted with Engine Alliance GP7000 engines is expected for December 2007.

Total orders and commitments for the A380 are currently 173 from 14 customers (165 firm and 8 commitments).
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