The A380 Flight Test Team has received a prestigious Flight Award, recognizing the person or team that have displayed world-class professionalism in the manufacturing sector of propulsion, systems or avionics.
“Rarely has a team of this type worked in such intense publicity as the winners of this category. The kind of work they were doing inherently carries with it the risk of things going wrong – sometimes indeed, dangerously wrong. It is routinely performed against the most pressing of schedules, but is highly reliant on weather conditions, the co-operation of numerous airports and regulatory authorities, and the correct performance of hundreds of supporting individuals”, indicated Flight, explaining the selection. “Within two weeks of flying their aircraft for the first time ever, they took it to its maximum altitude and speed, and to the extremes of its manoeuvring range. By the time they finished the programme – on schedule – they had landed in 40 knots crosswinds and carried out accelerate-stop tests in a 575 tonne aircraft from more than 300 kilometres per hour. In short, the programme was a model of its kind. “
During the yearly Flight Award ceremony at the Pavillon d’Armenonville, Paris, on Monday 18th June, the representatives of the A380 Flight Test Team gratefully accepted the award. Claude Lelaie, Senior Vice President Flight Division, said “We accept this on behalf of the full A380 Flight Test and Engineering Team. We were only able to achieve this because of continuous and limitless efforts made by the team to make this the greatest aircraft, in all aspects. Our job was made easier by the excellent aircraft that we have had to bring to certification and maturity. From the very first flights we recognised its remarkable aerodynamic excellence, its excellent handling characteristics and outstanding performance.”
Commenting on the award, Airbus President and CEO, Louis Gallois, added: “It is an honor to be selected for this award by Flight’s own Award committee, as Flight has an excellent reputation in the industry. It is important for the whole of Airbus that the efforts made by the A380 Flight Test Team are rewarded in such a way.”
The Airbus A380 has 173 firm orders and commitments from 14 customers worldwide and received joint EASA and FAA type certification in December 2006. Since its maiden flight in April 2005, the A380, with 5 development aircraft flying, has now made over 1100 flights and more than 3700 flight hours.
Being cleaner, greener, quieter and smarter, the A380 is already setting new standards for transport and the environment. Per passenger, the A380 is as fuel efficient as a small economical family car. The combination of extra passenger capacity without increasing the number of flights, excellent environmental performance and lower operating costs is an ideal solution for both increasingly congested airports and the airlines that serve them. For passengers, the A380 offers larger, more comfortable seats in all classes and in the quietest cabins in the sky.