As I live in Toulouse, I have the chance to see all flight tests from Toulouse Blagnac airport. Indeed this is where Airbus final assembly chain is located. Therefore each aircraft does some flight tests from there and I have the chance to see them. Blagnac was also the place where the first magnificent Concorde took off.
By the way, if you come to Toulouse you can visit the A380 assembly chain. I did it with my school last year and it was awesome, you feel very tiny in there.
For more information, you can go on this link.
Among the aircraft, there is the A350 (I will make an article for this one later) but also the A320neo and the A380 on which I am going to talk this time.
The Airbus A380 is the biggest airliner aircraft on earth. It first flight was in 2005 in Toulouse of course, unfortunately I wasn’t there yet to see it !
There are some specificities with this aircraft that I find intriguing, so I’ll share them with my own pictures.
Unlike the others Airbus aircraft, most of the pieces are not transported with the Beluga A300-600 Supers Transporter ( a beautiful aircraft that I will also talk about don’t worry !). Instead the pieces or carried by boat and then by truck. During the last step they are moving by night and it takes few days. Once I saw where they stopped, here is a picture, it’s a bit blurry sorry :
An other thing is quite interesting in the assembly process. Other Airbus aircraft are fully painted in a hangar in Toulouse. But the A380 is too big to be painted there. So it goes to Hambourg. The rear part also comes from Hambourg and therefore is the only painted part during the first flights. Here is an example with an A380 for British Airways :
And here is the same aircraft fully painted :
Finally, I will conclude this article with several pictures that I took during Airexpo meeting at Muret in 2014. Enjoy 🙂