Have you seen the photographs of the new Airbus A380? From the overall size to the roomy seats & comforts it will provide passengers â€“ it is impressive to say the least.
Unfortunately the aircraft has been plagued with delay after delay. Instead of late 2006, the first A380 is now set to arrive with Singapore Airlines in October of 2007. Other big customers such as Emirates Airline will be waiting until 2008 while Virgin Atlantic Airways will be waiting until 2013 for their first delivery.
But delays in production may not be the only delays that will be occurring.
There is speculation that because of the utter size of the aircraft there will be significant wind sheer activity after take-off which will in turn cause delays for the next aircraft waiting to land.
Technically known as a â€˜wake vortexâ€™, this tornado-like wind is produced by the wings and flaps of an aircraft during take offs and landings. The winds can last for several minutes and have varying results including damage to local buildings (primarily roofs) and can possibly be attributed to causing other aircraft to crash.
With 555 passengers on board an Airbus A380, the traffic coming into any airport could be dramatically increased. But if the wake vortex proves to cause delays as expected, this in turn will delay other flights from landing which could mean further delays overall that passengers will be left to deal with.
In the fall of 2006 the Airbus A380 Wake Vortex Steering Group finally completed itâ€™s three year study. According to a press release on the Airbus.com website – “The A380 is considered to be identical to any other aircraft, both for vertical and horizontal spacing between it and any following aircraft.” However, the study does go on to say that this is “subject to review and possible reduction based on further studyâ€¦ and operational experience.” Do you think?
Oh well, it looks like weâ€™ll have to wait until late 2007, or 2008, or maybe even 2013 to find out anyway.