osteogenesis
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Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:48 am

Besides the pilot and co-pilot there will be 4 engineers on board. All will be wearing helmets and parachutes. One of the lower cargo doors will be armed with explosives so that they can eject it. This opening can be used to jump out of the plane if they encounter a live threatening problem.

The A380 MSN001 with registration F-WWOW will be caring 20 tones of test equipment. They can meassure 15000 different parameters. These will be send online to the ground for instant and later analysis. The 4 engineers will also monitor data and try to smell, hear or see any abnormalities. That is why they will each be placed at different locations within the plane. So they will work as human measurement equipment.  Smile

Short before the take of the entire Toulouse Airport will be closed. Only a Corvette private Jet owned by Airbus will be allowed to start. This Jet will check if the A380 is loosing fluids or if something breaks of. The Airbus photographers will also be onboard in order to capture the first in flight pictures of the A380. They will start in northerly direction in order to avoid the city of Toulouse. They will fist fly the aircraft with the gears lowered for one hour around the airport in companion of the Corvette so that they can return quickly if they encounter any problems.

If everything is OK they will say goodbye to the Jet and climb to higher altitudes and fly to a French Military restricted airspace around Brest.

The first flight will be flown by "direct law". This means that the pilots will fly the A380 directly with no computer corrections or flight envelope protection. Only acoustic signals will warn of stall or max speed.

I saw an interview with Formula 1 World Champion and Pilot Nicky Lauda after he had just flown the A380 simulator.

He said "It handles beautifully".  Big thumbs up
 
22right
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:02 am

Any idea as to the expected date(s) of the maiden flight?

Thx.
"I never apologize! I am sorry, but that's the way it is!" - Homer Simpson
 
Newark777
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:04 am

Quoting Osteogenesis (reply 0):
One of the lower cargo doors will be armed with explosives so that they can eject it. This opening can be used to jump out of the plane if they encounter a live threatening problem.


So the people have to run down to the cargo hold if they want to get out? Doesn't make much sense to me.

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
iowa744fan
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:04 am

I imagine that it is going to be impressive watching that bird lift off the ground the first time! I cannot wait!  Smile
 
osteogenesis
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:08 am

Quoting 22right (reply 1):
Any idea as to the expected date(s) of the maiden flight?


Probably someday in April. Airbus wont give any dates. They say that weather and airplane have to be in perfect conditions.
 
FriendlySkies
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:08 am

Quoting Newark777 (reply 2):
So the people have to run down to the cargo hold if they want to get out? Doesn't make much sense to me.


There might be people in the cargohold running tests or something...otherwise I agree, that doesn't make sense.
 
osteogenesis
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:09 am

Quoting Newark777 (reply 2):
So the people have to run down to the cargo hold if they want to get out? Doesn't make much sense to me.


It will give them an option if they encounter a bigger problem. Of course it is no ejection seat. Big grin
 
hoya
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:36 am

Is there any more info out there about the possibility of some problems with the plane? A week or so ago, Der Spiegel had a story quoting unnamed sources from Airbus that the A380 had some structural issues and the first flight might be delayed for a while. Allegedly something is wrong structurally in the tail section and with the landing gear, as a result of all the weight cutting. Seeing how it was just one news outlet reporting this, it doesn't seem too credible. Airbus did respond to it, denying the rumors of course. Does anyone know when the first flight will be? Isn't it supposed to be in March? Why is Airbus so quiet about this?
Hoya Saxa!!
 
Newark777
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:38 am

Will there be anyone else on the flight besides the pilots and engineers? If there are, I'm sure they would love to see the engineers start to jump out of the cargo hold.  Laugh out loud

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 7:22 am

Quoting Osteogenesis (reply 0):
The 4 engineers will also monitor data and try to smell, hear or see any abnormalities.

As absurd as this might sound, this is exactly what happens. I know with the engine, an experience engineer can tell by smell if the engine is running as it was during ground testing.


Quoting Osteogenesis (reply 0):
Only a Corvette private Jet owned by Airbus will be allowed to start.

Only one chase plane? Its pretty common on *early* test flights to have a close in chase plane (often a two seat fighter-a plane everyone *knows* can get out of the way quickly) and another chase plane at a distance (usually rigged with quite a few cameras with telephoto lenses).

Has airbus equipped the A380 airframe with extra cameras for the test flight?


Quoting FriendlySkies (reply 5):
There might be people in the cargohold running tests or something

The engineers will be down in the cargo hold looking, touching, hearing, and smelling for *any* issue. Note: not *just* the cargo hold, but every corner of the aircraft. For instance, if an accelerameter is going nuts, they'll verify it is or that its just a malfunction. You'd better believe they'll have handheld O2 meters.

Lightsaber
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lehpron
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:31 am

Quoting Newark777 (reply 2):
So the people have to run down to the cargo hold if they want to get out? Doesn't make much sense to me.


You sound as if you expect them to always run down to the cargo hold... Smile Chances are they will have enough time, if (knock on wood) it happens. Just a safe precaution done an all aircraft before it, don't worry about it.

Quoting Hoya (reply 7):
Seeing how it was just one news outlet reporting this, it doesn't seem too credible. Airbus did respond to it, denying the rumors of course. Does anyone know when the first flight will be? Isn't it supposed to be in March? Why is Airbus so quiet about this?


First, is it at all posssible that the newmedia outlet in this case might have exagerrated the issue because afterall it is THE A380? Secondly, is it at all possible that Airbus fixed or dealt with the problem and it is not one anymore? Third, plans change. Why tell people every darn detail, we here may want to know, but we here are also a minority so small it is probably not worth the cost of cummunicating the info to us. Big grin
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
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chrisnh
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:51 am

The timing of this will be interesting, as Airbus may have it occur to coincide with the 7am east coast U.S. start of the morning news programs...The Today Show, Good Morning America, et al. Of course, not that this country (United States) should dictate the timing. But I'm sure the Airbus folks would love nothing more than to have this be a premiere news event...and the best way to do that is to have the flight departure broadcast live on these shows. Which probably means an afternoon flight in France.

Chris in NH
 
bongo
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:50 am

Quoting Newark777 (reply 2):
One of the lower cargo doors will be armed with explosives so that they can eject it. This opening can be used to jump out of the plane if they encounter a live threatening problem.



Quoting Newark777 (reply 2):
So the people have to run down to the cargo hold if they want to get out? Doesn't make much sense to me.


Newark777:

Do you have any better idea ?  Confused
MDE: First airport in the Americas visited by the A380!
 
zotan
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:26 am

Lol Bongo. Maybe they should place should place explosive charges horizontally around the fuselage and the top will blow off, then wherever they are they just jump out  Smile
 
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glideslope
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:50 am

Quoting Osteogenesis (reply 4):
Probably someday in April. Airbus wont give any dates. They say that weather and airplane have to be in perfect conditions.



June/July at the earliest.
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
 
osteogenesis
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:37 pm

Quoting Glideslope (reply 14):
June/July at the earliest.


Do you have information or is it just an assumption?
 
burnsie28
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:43 pm

Boy it sure sounds like Airbus is not that confident in the plane, with explosives and parachutes and everything else.
 
Jean Leloup
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:50 pm

You've got to be kidding. It's obvious that they won't fly it until they're completely confident that it's ready.

Taking all possible saftey precautions doe not imply a lack of confidence!
Next flight.... who knows.
 
bill142
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:54 pm

Quoting Burnsie28 (reply 16):
Boy it sure sounds like Airbus is not that confident in the plane, with explosives and parachutes and everything else.


Umm its an unproven aircraft. Even Boeing would be taking these measures. Airbus would have alot more confidence in the aircraft but these measures are for those situations which may arise unexpectedly and can arise with any new aircraft. The 787 will probably be the same during its first flight. Its a simple precaution.
 
chicoco
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:03 pm

I am sure that Airbus will preform the A380 the maiden flight when they (Airbus) are quite satisfied that all is as they want it to be (weather,aircraft,etc), and not one minute before.
 
707lvr
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:06 pm

I don't want to sound too stupid, but is this normal on a first flight? Since none of the historic pictures show parachutes and helmets, if they used them they must have changed on the plane (so no one would see?) Sorry, I'm having trouble imagining a scenario where a parachute would make a difference, from failing to leave the ground to falling like a rock from altitude for some reason. Wish someone who has handled a first flight would write in.
 
kevindca
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:06 pm

I can't wait to see this bird in flight! As Bill142 said, all the precautions they're taking seem perfectly normal and prudent to me, not a sign of any problem. I have always been a Boeing fan, but my primary love is aviation and airplanes, and this is one awesome plane, and I can't wait for the day I can see it rotate in person!  Smile
 
chicoco
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:14 pm

707lvr, I have a documentary on the 777 from scratch, at the end it shows John Cashman at the controls (Camera mounted on glareshield), flying in an open neck shirt,the only added protection he seems to have had on board with him was (if I remember correctly) was a can of Pepsi. The rest is history.
 
Cessnapimp
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:28 pm

Boy it sure sounds like Airbus is not that confident in the plane, with explosives and parachutes and everything else.

Haven't laughed that hard in a while! Thanks Burnsie!
 
707lvr
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:30 pm

Chicoco, I saw that too, and wondered ...
 
eg777er
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 4:46 pm

777 first flight crew flew in orange jumpsuits, helmets, door 1L was rigged to blow and they had parachutes on board.

It's all in Karl Sabbagh's book...21st Century Jet.
 
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scbriml
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:17 pm

Quoting Chicoco (reply 22):
707lvr, I have a documentary on the 777 from scratch, at the end it shows John Cashman at the controls (Camera mounted on glareshield), flying in an open neck shirt,the only added protection he seems to have had on board with him was (if I remember correctly) was a can of Pepsi. The rest is history.


See reply #25! This was likely not the first flight.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
geizistgeil
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 7:56 pm

confirm reply #25

"..., there was a feature that showed how the company still took seriously the possibility that anything could happen. On the right-hand side of the plane there were four windows which had rather unusual oval frames projecting into the interior of the plane. These frames had explosive charges on them that could be fired in a grave emergency......the explosion of the charges would release the pressure inside the plane and allow one of the doors, specially adapted without hinges, to fall out of its frame and permit the crew to jump. All this would happen after Cashmen and Higgins [CPT and FO] had donned oxygen masks and parachutes, supplied as part of the first-flight kit." (Karl Sabbach, 21st Cebtury Jet, Side 302.

As far as I remember, I read the same in a book about the 747, where the aft doors where designated for that procedure. The remark of the first-flight crew was something as: funny thing to think on.......

Some conclusions:
- explosives are a normal security procedure, parachutes also
- John Cashman, was not part of the first crew
- no obvious differences in test procedure between A & B (btw, I like the planes of both)


Many, many happy landings for the A380

MS
"If the Wright brothers were alive today. Wilbur would have to fire Orville to reduce costs" (H. Kelleher)
 
leelaw
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:32 pm

Quoting Scbriml (reply 26):
door 1L was rigged to blow and they had parachutes on board.


If you had to jump, would door 1L be the optimal place; don't "jumpers" generally leave the aircraft from a portal behind the wing?
Lex Ancilla Justitiae
 
jonty
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:46 pm

707lvr, this happened on the plane that inspired your name, I've got a book on it and it shows Tex Johnston flying in a jump suit and a helmet!
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:56 pm

It's funny how many armchair experts we have who think they can plan an emergency test aircraft evacuation better than the engineers who are paid to do so...

All manufacturers take certain precautions. Helmets, parachutes and some way to quickly egress are all part of these precautions. This does not indicate a lack of confidence in the craft. It's simply common sense.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
 
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derekf
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:14 pm

I've been involved in few first flights myself so I may be able to explain what's going on. I don't know about Airbus or Boeing but the company I work for grades test flights into low, medium and high risk. Low risk would be nav aid tests, performance etc. Medium risk might be handling, etc. and high risk woud be flutter, VMCG, initial stalling and first flight. These are the result of the perceived risk to the airframe and have nothing to do with confidence in the product. Clearly the first stalls might be high risk but once they have been done then the risk becomes lower. Same with the first flight. Once complete then the rest of the test programme will be lower risk.
High risk tests may involve an escape mechanism such as blow-off doors, parachutes etc. (although a parachute during VMCG test isn't going to do you much good).

The crew may have the safety equipment on board the aircraft rather than carry it out to the aircraft themselves. The uninformed public perception of risk may be the same as in several of the replies above.
We used to carry the kit (or wear it) to the aircraft as we did not operate in the same glare of publicity.

Personally I would want to exit an aircraft like the A380 on the underside. If you go out of the conventional doors you might get a faceful of engine or wing or tailplane. Could ruin your whole day!

Hope this helps

Derek
Whatever.......
 
mozart
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:39 pm

Niki Lauda in the simulator? Interesting, how can they already have a simulator if they don't know how the plane behaves in the air?
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:40 pm

Niki Lauda in the simulator? Interesting, how can they already have a simulator if they don't know how the plane behaves in the air?

Most planes have simulators long before metal is bent. Computer models are used to predict behavior.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
 
mozart
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:48 pm

Ah, alright. Happy to learn.

Thanks, Starlionblue (thank god I only asked this as a question, as I really liked your comment of armchair experts! ,-) )
 
osteogenesis
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:30 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (reply 30):
This does not indicate a lack of confidence in the craft. It's simply common sense.


Something some members definitely don't have.
 
vfw614
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:33 pm

One of the prototypes of the aircraft which bears my username (hmm, or was it vice versa ?) crashed during an early test flight on February 1, 1972. The test crew of three left the aircraft through one of the doors, but as the stall occured pretty close to the ground, only two of three survived the parachuting exercise. The F/O died because his parachute did not open properly.
 
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bully707
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:15 am

Quoting Osteogenesis (reply 35):
Quoting Starlionblue (reply 30):
This does not indicate a lack of confidence in the craft. It's simply common sense.


Something some members definitely don't have.


Well said!!!
I might be a "new" member to a.net, but have followed this forum closely for some years now.
I still can't figure out the reason of some of the responses...unless they are meant to be sarcastic (and I failed to notice ), I find it very sad to see any kind of bashing (no matter if A or B).

Godspeed

Bully
"That's the good thing about the 707...it can do anything, but read!" Joe Patroni, Airport '70
 
wilcharl
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:35 am

One poster asked "is this normal for a first flight" (refering to the helmets) YES it is... In fact test pilots often are pictured in polo shirts and what not when they come on and off the plane but when they get on and the media is out of site they whip into bright orange Nomex flight suits and helmets... They change back after safely landing
 
SailorOrion
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:41 am

Those "inflight emergency exits" are a common installation on prototypes. The Do 328 I was working with had one too, near the aft pressure bulkhead.

SailorOrion
 
RedDragon
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:59 am

To expand on the question about access to the jettisonable hold door, Airbus is apparently going to fit some sort of chute access inside the aircraft - presumably some sort of slide from the main deck down into the hold. Bit quicker than running down a ladder  Big grin

Rich
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:26 am

Quoting Eg777er (reply 25):
777 first flight crew flew in orange jumpsuits, helmets, door 1L was rigged to blow and they had parachutes on board.

It's all in Karl Sabbagh's book...21st Century Jet.


Interesting point about 1L. Call me a complete fool but the only plane I have had to learn how to bail out of was a Grob Tutor! Isn't jumping out of 1L putting you in danger of going a little close to a rather large spinning thing attached to the wing?
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:47 am

I have seen pictures of the MD-90 prototype that showed an emergency door in the tail and a slide that would deploy so that the crew go parachute out.
 
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glideslope
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:50 am

Quoting Chicoco (reply 22):
707lvr, I have a documentary on the 777 from scratch, at the end it shows John Cashman at the controls (Camera mounted on glareshield), flying in an open neck shirt,the only added protection he seems to have had on board with him was (if I remember correctly) was a can of Pepsi. The rest is history.



Of course he was. It was a Boeing.  Smile
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:53 am

Call me a complete fool but the only plane I have had to learn how to bail out of was a Grob Tutor! Isn't jumping out of 1L putting you in danger of going a little close to a rather large spinning thing attached to the wing?


First of all, it's very unlikely there will be a problem severe enough to mean anything more than an early landing. This is not the Space Shuttle. While many new techniques and materials were used in construction, the A380 is an enlargement of current concepts. Behavior of tubes with wings is well understood. Nothing magical about the engines either.

- If there is a problem, landing the plane is the first solution.
- It's better to jump out and take your chances than to stay in the plane as it spirals towards the ground.
- If there is a high speed problem jumping out would probably not be a good idea anyway. Few egresses at high speed are survivable without an ejection seat.
- If there is a low speed problem the pilot would attempt to trim the aircraft into an optimal low speed egress attitude, solving the problems of being plastered against the wing or tail. If the pilot cannot do so, you can try to egress anyway but survivability decreases drastically.


If the risk were really high, ejection seats would have been installed, just like on the first Space Shuttle flights.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
 
aer lingus
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:00 am

How would the pilots etc in the plane jump out via the cargo door? The pressure outside prevents the doors of the aircraft being opened while flying.
Split Scimitar or Sharklets?
 
jfkaua
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:05 am

Quoting Aer Lingus (reply 45):
How would the pilots etc in the plane jump out via the cargo door? The pressure outside prevents the doors of the aircraft being opened while flying.


While in flight the pressure is higher inside the cabin so the door would actually be easier to open. Your thinking of passenger cabin doors that sort of act like a plug... you have to pull them in to open them.. which is impossible because the pressure is higher inside..
 
707lvr
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:12 am

Well, I'm happy to admit I learned something new. Thanks for the information guys.
 
eg777er
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:55 am

Sorry, of course I meant 4L. Unless you want pilot puree  Smile  Smile
 
gkirk
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RE: Interesting News About The A380 First Flight

Wed Mar 02, 2005 6:01 am

Quoting Osteogenesis (reply 4):
Probably someday in April. Airbus wont give any dates. They say that weather and airplane have to be in perfect conditions.


The A380 can't fly in rain then?  Big grin
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!

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