Airbus A380 makes a perfect landing at LAX

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

The world's largest passenger airplane, the Airbus A380, made a perfect landing at Los Angeles International Airport yesterday.

Los Angeles (CA) - The world's largest passenger airplane, the Airbus A380, made a perfect landing at Los Angeles International Airport yesterday. Hundreds of people lined up to watch the plane, which flew non-stop from France, land and roll out on the northernmost runway of LAX. The A380 was one of two such planes that flew non-stop yesterday to the United States. The other plane flew from Frankfurt Germany and landed at New York's John F. Kennedy airport.

Security was extremely tight as Los Angeles Airport Police and Los Angeles City Police patrolled the runways and the airport perimeters. After the landing, the plane was quickly whisked away to hangers on the other side of the airport.

Unlike the A380 which landed with almost a full load of passengers, the A380 that landed at LAX only had a skeleton crew of pilots and engineers. The plane was being delivered to Qantas for final testing and qualification. The airline promises the plane will be used for non-stop flights between the United States and Australia.

The speed is surprising because the plane is huge, especially compared to previous generations of airplanes. Just a few minutes before the A380 landed, a United Airlines 747 landed on the same runway. The 747 is no small plane, but the A380 made it look tiny.

Airbus promises the A380 could have as much as 50% more passenger floor space than the 747. At maximum capacity the plane could fit more than 800 economy class people, but airliners would probably realistically fit 535 people in a first, business and economy class arrangement.

The Airbus A380 has a maximum range of 8,000 nautical miles and can reach speeds of Mach .85. Airbus claims the engines are much more fuel efficient and that the plane costs about 35% less to operate than competing planes. Hopefully this will translate into some airfare savings for flyers in the future.