Los Angeles Airport (CA) - The Airbus A380 made a quiet departure from Los Angeles International Airport last evening. Scheduled for an approximate departure time of 7:30 pm, the world’s largest commercial plane left early at 6:20 pm citing that the crew completed pre-flight preparations earlier than expected.
Throughout the evening, approximately 500 spectators lined up along the south side of LAX on Imperial Hill in hopes of seeing the A380 depart for its 12 ½ return flight back to Toulouse, France – home of Airbus headquarters.
The original departure time of 7PM was moved one hour earlier because pre-flight checks were going faster than anticipated, according to Airbus and Qantas. Several local reporters and cameramen were caught off guard because the press release only appeared two hours before the new 6PM takeoff. It appears the press weren’t the only ones to miss the take off because several hundred spectators continued to stream into the area after 7PM.
Plane spotters who saw the actual departure from Imperial Hill were armed with cameras and described a quiet take-off and a Boeing 747 aircraft positioned next to the Airbus A380 before the exit.
The impressive commercial airliner boasts a maximum seating capacity of 800 passengers and a wingspan that is almost the length of an American football field. It competes with the Boeing 747-8 and 777F aircraft and offers a ten-percent increase in mileage range.
Airbus has invested over $10 billion into creating the A380, which has a price tag of $319 million. Although the manufacturer has received orders from 14 buyers, none of them are U.S. airline companies. For footage of the Airbus A380 departure, please click on the KABC link .
This is a republished article that was originally written on March 22 2007. The original article mysteriously disappeared into the big hard drive in the sky.