Airbus 380 tests altitude in Ethiopia
Airliners.net | Oct. 17, 2006 ADDIS ABABA – Aviation giant Airbus on Tuesday began evaluating its Superjumbo A380 for high-altitude performance over Ethiopia in its maiden test flights from an African airport, the company said.
The fifth developmental model of the double-decker Behemoth that has been beset by production delays arrived at Bole international airport in the Ethiopian capital late yesterday, Airbus said.
Bole, at 2,286 metres above sea level, was chosen for the testing “to validate the engines’ performance from high altitude airports,” it said in a statement recieved here.
The plane, identified as A380 MSN009, is powered by four GP7200 engine alliance engines that can deliver thrust of up to 37 tonnes each, and 82 models of that make have been ordered by six airlines, it said.
On completion of the tests in Ethiopia at the end of the week, the aircraft, which rolled off the production line in August, is to be flown to the United Arab emirates for hot weather performance evaluations, the company said.
The A380, with an average seating capacity of 555, will be the world’s largest passenger aircraft when it enters service, but deliveries have been hit by a series of delays that have roiled the company and its parent firm, European aerospace group EADS.
Earlier this month, EADS, announced that deliveries would be delayed by another year, the program’s third setback since June 2005, taking total delays to about two years.