Not ready for takeoff

Airbus1_1Yesterday we heard about the unveiling of this snazzy new airplane, the enormous (actually, the news report called it “ginormous”) Airbus A380. Unveiled in Toulouse, France, it’s the largest passenger plane ever built—it weighs 1.2 million pounds when fully loaded for takeoff, and seats 555 people in two decks. Singapore Airlines will be the first carrier to fly it, beginning in June 2006.

Our first reaction wasn’t a great one. This is a frightening machine. It’ll take one special marketing campaign to make us want to climb aboard it, something more reassuring than the promise of on-board bars, restaurants, shops, a full gym and showers (this photo shows the “upper deck social area”). We had a chuckle on the Web site, though, when we saw a little box with the line, “Now is your chance to win an A380!” Just what we always wanted! If only we had a football field, too, so we could park it. Oh right, you can win a model of an A380, not the real thing.

—Posted by Tim Nudd

Photo: Airbus