Flying the new giant Airbus A380 aircraft
In early October, another dream come true, associated with aviation. Lufthansa is invited to a press-tour to show off one of its new Airbus A380.
Therefore, could not simply climb aboard the A380 of the trip, but also to fly on it. And not just to fly, but to make a circular trip from Frankfurt - Prague - Budapest - Frankfurt. And not just to make a journey in the air on a giant plane and stay with the pilots in the cockpit during the flight. And not just sit in the cockpit, but also to take pictures of the work of pilots during take-off, flight and landing. And not just the pilots, and the chief pilot of the "Lufthansa". In a word, it was not a day, but a fairy tale.
I flew to Frankfurt late in the evening, spent the night in the airport, "Sheraton", and seven in the morning we have already brought to the airfield of my favorite Fraport. Us - it's about ten journalists, incl two crews from the Czech Republic and Hungary... Demonstration flight took place in the framework of the A380 display promotional campaign in European capitals.
In Prague, the aircraft has to be landed for the first time in Budapest - in the second, although officially - also in the first. Thus, the "Lufthansa" shows its potential passengers on what they are able to fly through the airline hubs overseas, in Japan, Southeast Asia.
In ordinary life, these giants in any such airport will not sit down, so the arrival of the A380 in the Czech Republic and Hungary have been waiting many capitals. Looking ahead, I will say that I did not expect such ceremonial meetings and so many spectators.
At this time in the airport the busiest time - both in the air hanging on four or five sides, calling on the landing. Their landing lights glowed in the air like a UFO. I have not seen the aircraft, and two lights under the wings are already burning in the morning sky.
I can observe the operation of the airport indefinitely. Especially such as Fraport.
"Our" A380 just arrived from Johannesburg and while cleaners team led salons in order, it is important, I walked around the plane in yellow reflective waistcoat with Lufthansa Flightcrew inscription and happy this morning. I have countless times flew here, flew to the city and get off at his airfield for the first time was for me just rah-rah.
The second pilot Ingo Mayerdirks walked with a lantern, and viewed engine blade.
the sun rose, it was time for us to go on a mission.
The first modification of the aircraft floor A380-800 - the three interior economy class for 420 passengers. All such A380 takes on board 526 passengers. By year end, these aircraft have "Lufthansa" will have eight of the 18 ordered. In the summer they started flying to Tokyo, Johannesburg, New York, San Francisco and Miami. In October, he added the flight to Singapore. In airplanes and airport infrastructure, maintenance, crew training company invests about five billion euros.
Passenger seats for economy class "Lufthansa" has developed a well-known German company Recaro. To me, they, frankly, not very much - back tonkovat and any movement in front of the passenger sitting behind the impact on the comfort of sitting. I understand that in this way increases legroom (by as much as 5 cm) and sit comfortably, but the version of the "plastic" seats in the new A320-321-330 I like more. Accompanying did not agree with me in saying that the seats are expensive and good. Well it is clear.
Excellent decided to design windows. With their standard external dimensions inside the airplane, they look large by increasing the inner frame. This large oval gives the impression of open space inside the cabin. The plane is very "quiet" engine is almost inaudible. Surprised short run - I watched the take-off in Budapest, I thought that we long run on the strip, and the plane took off almost immediately.
The multimedia center with a screen 9 "is very good. In addition to the standard set of music, movies and games, the monitor displays a picture with three external cameras and complete information about the flight. The distance between the seats of 79 cm, seat width 52 cm.
They flew to Prague. In addition to a dozen journalists aboard were several representatives of airlines and three flight attendants. you can always walk, sit, lie down, press the button to climb up all the holes - in the time of flight of the aircraft interiors were completely at our disposal.
standard sets were demonstrated for breakfast and lunch. The metal instruments in the economy class "Lufthansa" Special thanks, of course. For a long time and it's time to "Aeroflot" go to them.
For convenience of photographing asked the flight attendant to include full coverage in the salons. Visibly it became better not, but still.
On the second floor - two business class. They say that these seats do not really like the management of the company and they will be changed. For me it is more convenient than the new capsule seats in the A330 new, I did not see, though, they, of course, take much more space than those in A380.
Here they are 98 - an incredible amount for the average passenger airliner. Standard set of options for the modern business class - almost horizontal unfolding, individual light, socket and a USB port for each.
The business class size monitors 10, 6 ", the distance between the seats from 145 to 152 cm, width 67 cm seat.
In the business class and first class - a huge vestibule with a kitchen and seating for the flight attendants.
The subject of special pride of any major airline - first-class cabin. The A380 "Lufthansa" it is designed for eight passengers. Here everything is practical, but no-frills kind of individual booths. Eight seat convertible into beds, each space 17 "monitor. The distance between the seats 213 cm, width 80 cm seat.
These chairs "Lufthansa" is named the best in its class.
Each of the first-class passengers - a wardrobe, and things.
At first-class passengers - two of these toilets. The soul is not here, the Germans consider it unnecessary, in their experience shower during the flight a few who use it.
The flight from Frankfurt to Tokyo and back will cost the passenger of the first class of 10 000 euros.
So, we fly to Prague. There are already ready for the red carpet Megaliner A380.
In the chair KBC - chief pilot "Lufthansa" Werner Knorr.
In the copilot's seat - Ingo Mayerdriks. cockpit equipment reminiscent of that found in A330 or A321 - before the pilots only keyboard and joystick on the side.
Flies to Prague Airport, the city is on the left side.
At the bottom of hundreds of people around the landing route - people stand on the field, on the hills, on the roofs of houses.
The plane gets up the ladder, we go out to the waiting room, where already covered tables, playing music, here come the local superiors and begins the official part - of speech, shaking hands, smiling. We took two national flags and the crew enters the building with the Czech flag in his hand.
Two hours on the plane there are people, the company organized a tour for everyone.
flies from Prague.
I asked one of the Czech photography at the airport to send me a couple of shots of our takeoff. Thank you, Vojtech.
We flew from Prague to Budapest.
To the right of the entrance to the cabin - cabin crew rest.
On the second floor can be reached by two staircases - front and back of economy class.
Budapest met two fountains. So meet the special guests of honor.
The meeting is arranged directly on the airfield - put a big white tent with tables and tasty Hungarian food. Several dozen photographers were standing at a distance, and their meals were brought by bus to the plane.
All the activity was found in the two hours that the aircraft was at the airport Franz Liszt.
In Budapest, the pilots made a short ride we took off, made a U-turn, and then simulated landing. It can be viewed on a video made by one of the spectators on the ground.
The plane fell on a strip, and then soared into the sky, shaking his wings in farewell. How it looked from the cockpit, see my video at the end of story.
A380 at the airport of Budapest. For me it was one of the happiest days of the year.
Video for the same crazy fans all summer: