A380 Finally Delivered

Airbus delivers their first A380 super jumbo jet on Monday. The Boeing 747 is no longer the largest passenger jet in the world.

From the Seattle Times:

The worst day of John Leahy's life, Airbus' chief salesman says, was facing Singapore Airlines executives and telling them that the very first A380 superjumbo — already months behind schedule — would be delayed yet again.

"They just looked at me," said Leahy, the European plane maker's chief operating officer. "Fortunately, they were speechless."

Better late than never has been the mantra, but Leahy may soon be able to breathe easier after the handover Monday of the much-ballyhooed but problem-ridden A380, a vital step in Airbus' efforts to recover from the vast troubles linked to the superjumbo plane.

The A380 is an impressisive achievement, even though it is two years late.

But, while I'll reserve final judgement until I see one in person, it is unfortunately ugly. I'm not usre why, but it just looks like an inelegant beast in all the pictures I've seen. I don't know if it's the proportions, the lines, the curves or just the sheer size, but it's just not as attarctive an airplane as the 747. The 747, even with it's odd hump, has a beauty and grace to it that is simply amazing.

Of course, I don't think "beauty" was one of the design criteria for the A380.

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