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Tue, May 09, 2006

First Customer A380 Enters Flight Testing Program

To Be Delivered To Singapore Airlines At End Of '06

Aero-News has learned the first Airbus A380 destined to enter commercial service made its maiden test flight Sunday, May 7. The airliner is scheduled to be delivered to launch customer Singapore Airlines by the end of the year.

The aircraft -- largely unpainted but for the Singapore Airlines logo on its tail (above) -- took off from the Toulouse Blagnac Airport in southwest France at 0830 GMT Sunday, and returned to the airport two hours and 15 minutes later.

According to Singapore Airlines, several important tests were completed during the first flight of "their" A380. Flight control systems were tested and cleared at all flight levels, as well as checks on the fuel and autopilot systems -- boilerplate tasks that are part of series of systems and operational tests that all new aircraft undergo after they are rolled off the Airbus Final Assembly Line in Toulouse.

SA's A380 is the fifth whalejet to fly since the first A380 made its inaugural flight in April 2005. As of May 2006, five other Singapore Airlines A380s are at various stages of completion.

Pending certification by EASA, Singapore Airlines is slated to be the first carrier in the world to fly the Airbus A380 in November 2006. The A380 will first fly on the "Kangaroo route" between London, Singapore and Sydney.

The Airline has 10 A380s on firm order, and another 15 on option. To date, 159 A380s have been ordered.

FMI: www.singaporeairlines.com, www.airbus.com

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