Saturday, October 27, 2007

A380 take-off

Thanks to a weather delay, I was still at Sydney airport when the Singapore Airlines A380 took off for the return flight of the maiden commercial flight of the very big plane. It was fun to watch, but the really cool thing was the people watching.

Pilots coming off shift called home, saying they'd be late for dinner because they wanted to see the plane. All the guys on the tarmac who were supposed to be driving trucks or loading luggage all stopped, and positioned themselves for an ideal view. As for the plane itself, it was definitely bigger than a 747 (A british Air flight took off immediately afterwards), but it only looked really huge next to a 737 or other narrow body plane. It left the runway remarkably early for a plane of its size, but the climb angle was incredibly shallow- it took a very, very long time for it to disappear into the cloud deck.

There isn't a lot of old-fashioned, 20th century style bigger, faster, stronger engineering going on anymore these days, so it was cool to see a bit of it in action, in the form of the biggest passenger plane to enter service in 38 years.

Australia is supposed to get the first commercial dreamliner flights as well, but I doubt they will look as formidable. That's a 21st century plane.

I have pictures, but no way to post them at present...

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