Final preparations are being made for the maiden flight this morning of the world’s biggest passenger plane, the Airbus A380. After a 10-year wait, for Captain Claude Lelaie it is time to set the simulators aside and standby for take-off. “The first thing we’ll do is check the weather forecasts which should be good. The flight will be very simple and steady. We’ll slowly open her up and then bring her back down,” he said.
Up to 50,000 people are expected to watch the take-off from around Airbus’ Toulouse headquarters in France. The more eager plane spotters have been camped out there for several days in order to grab the best vantage points. One man waiting said: “The chance to see the historic flight is simply magic. The whole world will be watching.”
The inaugural flight of the massive double decker should last between one and four hours. Airbus has spent some 10 billion euros making sure no technical problem arises, but in case of catastrophic failure the crew would likely blow off the cargo door and parachute to safety. You can follow the event live on EuroNews from 10am CET.