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Seeing A Flying A380 Off Guards For The First Time  
User currently offlineA380900 From France, joined Dec 2003, 1110 posts, RR: 1
Posted (4 years 2 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 11807 times:

On Thursday, I was driving on the "Pont de Gennevilliers" outside Paris in early afternoon (1:30pm) and I saw an A380 in long final for CDG for the first time.

The plane was on a right hand turn, turning final to 08R which is 11NM away. My guess would be it was around 3000-4000ft but pros here must have a fair idea of the precise altitude.

Anyway. I've been wondering for a long time about the way the plane would look in such setting. I must say I was not disappointed. It is massive and instantly recognizable. Like at an airshow, the massive size gives an impression of slowness. I had the plane in sight for more than a full minute and it did not take long before I could identify it as being an Emirates plane based mostly on the tail. It was significantly different from anything I had seen in the air at this location before.

I was impressed by the majestic demeanor of the aircraft. Really the Emperor of the sky. Did anybody share the same feeling in a similar setting? What are your views on how an A380 looks on long final?

[Edited 2010-06-19 20:47:30]

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12427 posts, RR: 37
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 10614 times:

The phrase "a large apartment block with wings" comes to mind; I have seen it at LHR, at about 150-200' on short final, and it certainly looks huge. It's definitely not easy to miss!

I still have to get used to the look of it; the back of it, the wings, flaps and gear look great ... just don't like the front on view. The 747 always strikes me as a lot more beautiful, but that is probably because I am more used to it. I still think it is a far better looking aircraft than the A380.


User currently offlineA380900 From France, joined Dec 2003, 1110 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 10477 times:

I don't totally disagree with "more beautiful" for the 747. Yet the A380 is definitely more impressive albeit in a bulky fashion. Maybe the A380-900 will be more graceful. It is also possible that the longer version will just appear as a regular airplane and may even be mistaken for a much closer A320!  

User currently offlinejetdr77 From Guyana, joined Apr 2010, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 9054 times:

that may be.... saw it on approach at JFK and it does not look as graceful as a 747 to me atleast

User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26902 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 8935 times:

Quoting A380900 (Reply 2):
Yet the A380 is definitely more impressive albeit in a bulky fashion. Maybe the A380-900 will be more graceful.

I love to see the A380 close up looks amazing. I agree the -900 will look even better .

Quoting jetdr77 (Reply 3):
that may be...

Nice to see a Guyanese flag  


User currently offlineairproxx From France, joined Jun 2008, 633 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 8932 times:

one word: graceless (and this is not a typo!)


If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same
User currently offlineebj1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 8795 times:

I have to agree the -900 will look a lot better. I think the same will be said of the 787-9; it'll look better than the -8, though the -8 isn't ugly by any means.

I have to agree that there had to be some kind of way the nose of the A380 could have been made to look better. Different windscreen panel design perhaps? Not sure, but I suspect if the nose looked nicer the airplane overall would be more aesthetically appealing.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently onlinesolnabo From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 851 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 7600 times:

The A380-900 gonna look better , longer sleaker if you can call a full double decker graceful.

There must be a lot of people seeing the 747 for the first time: omg that´s one ugly plane...

Same old same old...

Don´t turn this thread into A vs B againg for the 1111111th time, please.

//Mike



Airbus SAS - Love them both
User currently offlineairproxx From France, joined Jun 2008, 633 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 7445 times:

One thing I have noticed about the A380 wing is the famous "droop"..
The wing is flexing down while on the ground, well at least like many big widebodies, such as the 747. When fully loaded with fuel, the wings of both planes are amazingly curving down.
But, still as a comparison with the B747, while in flight, the A380 wings seem very straight and flexless. The B747 during rotation have this incredible flex up, making the whole wing elevating and curving.
This is mainly why I just love this wing and plane in general.
Curiously, the A380 wing doesn't seem to have such a flex up in flight.
I've been wondering if it's because the wing is designed already for a bigger and heavier frame, like an A380-900..
But anyway, I don't think that even with a bigger wing load, the wing is gonna behave like a B747's does...



If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same
User currently offlineSSTsomeday From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 1276 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7144 times:

About 2 months ago we landed in an MD-80 on the far right runway at LAX. I had a window seat on the left side.

We took a left turn onto the taxiway and stopped, between our runway and the next runway to the left, which LAX uses for departures on their North Field. I assumed we were waiting for departing traffic before we could cross. We were angled perfectly to watch.

I was not disappointed. What was coming our way in all it's glory, was a QF 380 departing for Sydney or Melbourne. I had seen it a few times before, parked at the gate, from my vantage point in the AA concourse, with it's massive tail overshadowing everything else. But I had never had a front row seat to see this behemoth, for what appeared to be until the last few seconds, heading right for us, rotating and wheels leaving the ground just before it sped out of view, and from a much closer vantage point than an observation deck or behind a fence. It was fantastic. Two long rows of lit up windows. More landing lights than I have seen on any other A/C. The sheer size of the thing. Being in a MD-80, our low profile further accentuated the enormity of this graceful beast. And in QF colors, too, which I have always liked.

And yes, it's size does give it the appearance of moving more slowly than conventional A/C. It sort of adds to the grandeur. As if the enormity of the event must be played in slow motion so that you don't miss anything.

Though aesthetically not one of my favorites, the immensity and majesty of this A/C are undeniable. Wow.

If they ever make the stretched version, I suspect that will look great and... obviously be even bigger.



I come in peace
User currently offlineLN-KGL From Norway, joined Sep 1999, 1026 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7045 times:

I think this lady is very graceful, but then I also prefer ladies without wings to have a high BMI   

http://www.plane-spotter.com/Jpegs/Registrations/Singapore/9V-SKE.jpg


User currently offlinecontrails15 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6901 times:

What I found so amazing is how quite it is. I was loading a flight one day and at the time never saw the 380 in person and as i turn behind me was a 380 taxing into the ally . It was so quite that it creeped up on me and I was aw struck. A buddy of mine gets to push it and told me its a dream to tow and push. I'm very jealous as all I get to deal with is 190's and 320's all day long.


Giants football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
User currently offlineDAL767400ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6808 times:

I occasionally see it take off from XFW and have seen it at HAM a few times, and so far, my opinion of the A380 is that it makes the A300-600ST Beluga look like a graceful airliner on the level of the Constellation by comparison. Definitely agree though that an A389 would look better, right now the A380 just looks short and fat.

User currently offlineSSTsomeday From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 1276 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6771 times:

Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 6):
I have to agree that there had to be some kind of way the nose of the A380 could have been made to look better. Different windscreen panel design perhaps? Not sure, but I suspect if the nose looked nicer the airplane overall would be more aesthetically appealing.

Aesthetics aside: I wonder if it's a practical chose to have the cockpit fully between both decks, rending unusable or impractical space on both decks. It seems to me that if the cockpit had been placed fully on the upper deck, they could have created more seating space on the lower deck without much additional weight. I HOPE that that primary reason Airbus placed the cockpit where it is is NOT because they did not want to emulate the 747...

Also I wonder if the current cockpit placement possibly put another hole in the coffin regarding the 380F? Or was that moot because the 380 HAS to have it's upper deck floor in place in order to be structurally sound? So front end loading was never practical anyway?

I have heard that Airbus may have wanted more consistency with regard to the height of the cockpit above the ground, relative other Airbus wide-bodies, thereby facilitating more streamlined pilot certification between types. However I don't think that, in of itself, justifies the less than optimal use of floorspace.

As I recall the original 747 cabin layouts wasted a lot of space next to the exits, and this was rectified in later models by adjusting the design and placement of lavatories, galleys, crew seats, etc. However, the position of the 380 cockpit seems to obligate airlines to create crew rest areas or little lounges in confined, odd spaces on the upper deck because they cannot create revenue space there.



I come in peace
User currently offlineKPDX From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 2736 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6721 times:

A technological achievement, yes, but aesthetics-wise, the A388 for the most part is just downright fugly.   

Now an Airbus plane that to me is perfectly proportioned is the A330-200. Easily the nicest looking Airbus imo!

[Edited 2010-06-20 14:54:20]


View my aviation videos on Youtube by searching for zildjiandrummr12
User currently offlinedw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1258 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5468 times:

Quoting KPDX (Reply 14):
A technological achievement, yes, but aesthetics-wise, the A388 for the most part is just downright fugly.

I think the wing of the A380 is a work of art, but sadly the nose just doesn't have the appeal of other airliners. The longer -900 will look better, but with the same nose it still won't be a 747. But those wings are stunning.

The first time I saw the A380 was at LAX. At first, it looked like any other 4-engine airplane in the distance. Since I was looking at it head on, it took a while for me to realize it was an A380. The first hint was the size of the vertical tail, and the second was that broad, blunt nose.

The size really didn't make much of an impression on me, but I might have been just too far away or not have had anything good to reference it too. It was certainly big, but smaller than I expected. The size of that awesome wing and big engines, along with the short, fat fuselage also makes it look smaller from a distance.



CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
User currently offlinebonusonus From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4848 times:

I saw the AF A380 on final to JFK into a 30 knot headwind... thing seemed to take forever to reach me. Really incredible to see it fly past.

User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4395 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2939 times:

The estetics of this plane depends strongly on the observation angle, I saw D-AIMA 4 times now from my garden resp. office. Garcefull, yes. From below, ugly, two short body with unproportional wings. But the 744 does not look much better for me from the same angle - the best looking planes for me from my gardens perspective are the A340-500 ( TAM, why did you send them to Milan, maybe because that is the capital of estetics ? ) and the B767-400 with absolutely clean lines.

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