Airbus offered a year-end holiday present for 50 special-needs passengers from France's Midi-PyrÃ©nÃ©es region, which is home to the company's headquarters and its final assembly lines for the A320, A330/A340 and A380. A one-hour trip aboard an A321 was arranged in cooperation with the "Aviation sans FrontiÃ¨res" (Aviation without Borders) organisation, and included a flyover of the Pyrenees mountains and the coastal city of Biarritz. All those taking part were given a special certificate to commemorate the event, along with an A321 scale model. Before boarding the aircraft, the passengers - which included both young people and adults - enjoyed a lunch at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, and listened to a presentation on the A320 Family from an Airbus flight test team engineer.
News in brief
'Flight of smile' for Christmas
Clean Sky ready to fly
Airbus is extremely pleased to announce that the Clean Sky JTI research programme was formally adopted on 20 December 2007 by the Council of Ministers following on from the positive vote at the European Parliament, on 11 December. Clean Sky is the programme that will radically improve the impact of Air Transport on the environment. The project's official launching event "Clean Sky TAKE OFF" will be held on 5 February 2008 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Brussels. To register for this event or just learn more about Clean Sky, you are welcome to visit the web site: www.cleansky.eu.
The Engine Alliance-powered A380 in Norway for cold weather evaluations
The A380 MSN009 made its first appearance at Norway's Oslo Gardermoen Airport on 11 December, arriving for cold weather testing with its Engine Alliance GP7200 powerplants. Located just north of the Norwegian capital, this international airport provides an excellent location for evaluations of the A380's GP7200 engines in conditions that include freezing fog and rain. Deliveries of GP7200-powered A380 are to begin in the summer of 2008, with Emirates receiving the first aircraft.
A400M production update
The airframe for Airbus' initial A400M military cargo aircraft is now taking shape on the final assembly line in Seville, Spain. In early November, the first complete A400M fuselage was mated with its 42-metre-long wing. This was followed by integration of the complete vertical and horizontal tailplane. The aircraft's electrical "power-on" also began this month, and instrumentation that will equip the A400M during flight testing also was delivered to Seville.
The Airbus Corporate Jetliner lands in Antarctica
The Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) has demonstrated its ability to operate from ice runways in Antarctica. Multiple landings and takeoffs were performed this month at the McMurdo Antarctic Station using normal operating techniques for the A319-derived ACJ. The Skytraders-operated ACJ was selected by the Australian Government Antarctic Division for a new air service that will transport scientists and explorers from Australia to Antarctica - trimming journey times from 10 days to just four hours.
Orlando, Florida is the A380's next U.S. world tour stopover
Orlando International Airport is the next U.S. destination for the A380's world tour, with flight test aircraft MSN 007 visiting the popular Florida airport on November 13-15. This A380 is equipped with an Airbus-designed, full passenger cabin, and the visit honors a long-standing request from the Greater Orlando Airport Authority to demonstrate that it is ready to receive the 21st century Airbus flagship for airline operations. To date, the A380 has visited more than 60 airports worldwide. See our press release on the A380's Florida visit.
The A380 stars at Hamburg's commercial airport
Thousands of visitors watched the A380 land for the first time at Hamburg Airport on the occasion of this facility's open house event on 15-16 September, and a total of more than 150,000 people came to see Airbus' 21st century flagship jetliner during the weekend. The aircraft was the backdrop for countless family photographs while Airbus test pilots Wolfgang Absmeier, Karl-Heinz Mai, Wolfgang BrÃ¼ggemann and GÃ©rard Desbois signed posters or models of the A380. The A380 is no stranger to the skies over Hamburg, as the aircraft has already been to the city's Finkenwerder airport, where Airbus has a production and cabin outfitting facility, as well as an A380 acceptance/delivery centre.
First A400M wing box leaves Nantes
An important milestone was achieved on 12 June when the first A400M military airlifter's centre wing box was shipped from Airbus' Nantes factory to the final assembly line in Seville, Spain. This major aircraft component, like that of the A380, is made of carbon fibre composite material. A ceremony at Nantes marked the latest step in Airbus' build-up of the no. 1 A400M. The wing box was then transported by road to Spain.
Airbus donates first A310 to China Civil Aviation Museum
Airbus today donated the first Airbus aircraft to be delivered to and operated on the Chinese Mainland, an Airbus A310-200, to the China Civil Aviation Museum at a ceremony held in Beijing. The aircraft was originally delivered to CAAC Shanghai in June 25, 1985, then operated by China Eastern Airlines, marking the debut of Airbus operations on the Chinese Mainland market. The aircraft was retired by China Eastern this September after more than 20 years of loyal service to the airline, having accumulated 39,053 flight hours and 20,968 flight cycles. The China Civil Aviation Museum, the first of its kind in China, is now under the construction nearby Beijing Capital Airport.
The last A300 makes its maiden flight
The final production A300 made its initial flight on 18 April, marking a milestone for the aircraft that launched Airbus on its successful entry into the international air transport sector. As the world's first widebody twin-engine jetliner, the A300 introduced new standards in passenger capacity and operational efficiency. Several versions were manufactured since its service entry in 1974, with the long-range A300-600 variant being the latest configuration in production. Of the more than 550 A300s built, over 400 remain in widespread use around the globe - both in passenger service and as a best-selling freighter. The final aircraft is an A300F freighter for FedEx, and the yet-unpainted fuselage carries wording that notes its importance as the "youngest of the eldest Airbus family."
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