Review: Airbus Industrie A380 Route Proving Demo Flight
I was invited by Airbus to sample the A380 from Hong Kong to Hong Kong. The purpose of this flight is to demostrate the A380 to Asian and local media. This is the first demo flight of A380 taking place in Asia with actual passenger onboard.
24 March 2007
Captain Jacques Rosay
POB 109/519 capacity
ETD 1400 Local
ATD 1600 Local (2 hr delay)
ATA 1800 Local
Gate 62 @HKIA
The inbound A380 flight from Frankfurt carried a full load of invited guest were delayed 2+hrs from 9am arrival to 1230 arrival. (Rumor to be hydraulic problem!!) so our demo flight departure time has been pushed 2 hours further. I received a call from Airbus PR in the morning and head to the airport at 1:30pm. Check in was at Aisle G at Lufthansa counter and there is a flight reception at Gate 62 with light refreshment, flight briefing took place before boarding at 3:30pm.
Airbus VP giving media flight briefing.
F-WWJB msn007 configuration
F 12 C 61 Y 436 total 519
Main Deck 319 seats Upper deck 200 seats.
First Class, I like the purple colors.
Quite similar to Etihad's Business class on 77W.
I sat in First Class seat 3A. The flight actually was a free seating flight, with many local media board straight onto upper deck using another aerobridge and helping themselve seating in Economy. There were few First Class seats left and I was quite surprised. Seems some of the local TV crew never done interview on planes, not knowing what's the best seat to enjoy.
Departing Hong Kong
Pushback at 1600 ontime.
Runway 25L at 1610 local time.
You can see the outside view from the tail mounted camera, what a beast!!!!
InflightSeat Belt sign were turned off ASAP so letting all the media member can freely move around the cabin and do the filming work. I was invited to the cockpit (by knowing Jacques Rosay in Toulouse and Sydney) and seated with the crew for a bit
Some testing in the cabin
After sat in the cockpit, I gave up my seat for some cabin photos
First, the upper deck
Business Class, lie flat style.
2-4-2 Upper deck economy. lot of leg room actually, 36+pitch.
Swirly stairs to lower deck at the rear of upper deck.
Main Deck economy 3-4-3, same 10 abreast seating like the B747.
Back to my first Class seat now after a whole walk thru the plane. Bollinger Champagne and Canapes were served by Airbus crew.
Massive Wing but very small windows.
Front staircase to upper deck.After 1 hour 45 mins flight around Hong Kong at FL310. We started descend, intially to FL150. I took my jumpseat.
But later I was told another media member had pre-booked the jumpseat in advance so i have to give up my privilage. No problem. I was slightly disappointed at first but knowing what is yours will always comes around. I am sure I will get the chance again in the future.
We landed Hong Kong on Rwy 25R during the evening at 1758 and taxiied to the gate right on block at 1800.
Overall the flight was a success, extremely smooth, powetful, quieter and handled turbulence very well (much better than the long tube A340-600). It is certainly the next generation of travel.
I would like to thank Airbus for this rare and wonderful opportunity.