Airbus' A380 MSN009 test aircraft, powered by the new Engine Alliance GP7000 engines will 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 (26th and 27th September), returning to its home base in Toulouse, South West France. It will then fly to the USA, landing at Hartford, Connecticut; Cincinnati, Ohio and San Francisco, California (2nd till 5th October) and back to Toulouse. The route proving will continue, flying to Dubai; Melbourne, Australia; Manila - International and Manila - Clark, both on the island of Luzon in the Philippines and back to Dubai before returning to Toulouse (8th till 13th October). The next destinations to be visited are Bogota, Colombia; Vancouver, Canada and Osaka, Japan (15th to 19th 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.
Being greener, cleaner, quieter and smarter, the A380 is already setting new standards for air transport and the environment. Per passenger, the A380 has an unmatched fuel efficiency of less than 3 litres per 100 kilometres. In addition, the advanced materials and systems on the A380, together with state-of-the-art aerodynamics and all-new engines result in outstanding economics and higher operational flexibility - with seat-mile costs 20 percent lower and range over 1,000 nautical miles longer than the largest aircraft flying today. The A380 also provides vital extra passenger capacity without increasing the number of flights, seating over 40% more passengers, in noticeably higher comfort, than today's largest aircraft in a typical three-class, 525-seat configuration.
Total orders and commitments for the A380 are 173 from 14 customers (165 firm and 8 commitments).
Airbus is an EADS company.