Final preparations are underway at the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France for the maiden flight of the A 380. The double-decker super-jumbo is being meticulously checked before it takes to the air for the first time next week.
The plane was originally supposed to lift off in early April, but test flights were delayed because of technical problems. The man in charge of the A380 programme, aerodynamics engineer Charles Champion said: “I think it will be as good in the air as Concorde, but commercially different. These days before we create a plane we have to have a business plan and we don’t start until we know we can sell it.”
Airbus has played down the postponement of the first test flight, saying that in a long-term project like this, a delay of a few days or weeks makes little difference.
A six-member test crew will undertake numerous maneuvers to check all the plane’s operations.