The world’s largest commercial airliner, the 555-seat Airbus A380, has received joint European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Type Certification on 12th December 2006. The certified aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines
The EASA A380 Type Certificate was signed by EASA’s Executive Director, Patrick Goudou; and the FAA A380 Type Certificate by John Hickey, FAA’s Head of Certification The documents were handed over to Airbus’ Executive Vice President Engineering, Alain Garcia. The Ceremony, held at the Airbus facilities in Toulouse, France, was attended by the Honorable Marion Blakey, FAA Administrator, and by senior officials from Civil Aviation Authorities from several countries worldwide.
“This double seal of approval represents a key milestone for the A380 programme. It recognises the quality of the work performed by all those who have worked hard for many years on the development of this superb, new technology leading aircraft. My thanks go to all of them, including to the EASA and FAA teams, for this outstanding achievement,” says Louis Gallois, Airbus President and CEO. “But more than anything, it provides clear evidence of the technical soundness of the A380, and confirms that the aircraft is meeting or exceeding the expectations in terms of performance, range, environmental friendliness, and cabin comfort. Both our customers and their passengers will love it “
The Certification by the two major international governing bodies comes after the A380 successfully completed a stringent programme of certification trials which has taken its airframe and systems well beyond their design limits to ensure the aircraft meets – or even exceeds – all airworthiness criteria. The A380 is also the first aircraft to which 21st century certification standards were applied.
The flight test campaign has also revealed that the aircraft is meeting the guaranteed performance both in terms of fuel burn and range. Because of its very low fuel burn, contributing to the lowest operating costs, it will produce very low emissions. An environmental champion, it is also quieter than any other airliner, meeting the stringent noise restrictions at London Heathrow. The A380 also has the quietest cabin in the skies and provides a very smooth ride. Also, all the pilots who have flown it, enjoy its remarkable handling qualities.
Five aircraft have been involved in the intensive flight test programme, four of which have Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines and one is powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines. To date, the aircraft have accumulated over 2,600 flight hours in 800 flights, with over 80 airline and certification pilots having flown the aircraft. During its test campaign, the A380 was also welcomed at 38 airports around the world, proving its easy airport acceptance and compatibility.
The A380-800 is designed to carry an average of 555 passengers in a three class layout over distances up to 8,000 nm/ 15,000 km. To-date, Airbus has received 166 orders and commitments from 15 customers for the A380, with the first due to be delivered to first operator Singapore Airlines in October 2007.
Airbus is an EADS company.
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