Flying larger

I want to fly in one of these — an Airbus 380. From the looks of the interior shots here, it’s an upscale airport lounge that flies. But that’s not what interests me. What I like are the positions of the lower deck windows, which line up below the equator of the fuselage. For passengers like me, who like to look at the ground below, that provides a better angle.

Many of the shots here and here were made out the windows on either side of the rear galleys of a United B777, next to the space where people wait to use the toilets. These windows are lower than the ones by seats, and taller. That makes them ideal for shooting pictures. They are also why I would rather have a seat in the back of coach than in the “premium” coach seating on that plane, all of which is over the wings. Or even in business or first class. Flying for me is about flying. That requires a view. Not nice food and television at altitude.

On the A380, as on all jumbo jets, the wings are huge. Also, the whole top deck (the plane has two floors) has windows that angle skyward. So the percentage of windows that look down is not large. But I’d love to try it out.

Right now only Emirates is flying the A380 as a commercial plane. (<strike>There are cargo versions already in service.</strike>) So I’ll need to find an excuse to fly to one of that airline’s destinations. On the right plane. Might not be easy. (See comments for corrections.)

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17 comments

  1. heiko hebig’s avatar

    Quantas and Singapore Airlines also operate the A380. Lufthansa should receive its first A380 in early 2010, likely serving JFK airport.

  2. Alexander Ainslie’s avatar

    Hello Doc! You can also try Singapore Airlines starting 2nd June out of Paris. I just had an offer in my email this week via my KrisFlyer mileage account. Best, @AAinslie

  3. speedy’s avatar

    I thought qantas was fleeing these out of LAX.. worth checking out..

  4. Björn J’s avatar

    Although it’s not the point of your blog post, I’m sure that Singapore Airlines fly the A380 too. And also Qantas, if I’m not mistaken. So there are more options for you to explore :)

  5. steve’s avatar

    I think you will find that Singapore Airlines was the launch customer, ie the first airline to fly the A380 commercially, and have been doing so for over a year. Also Qantas now operate services using the A380 on some of their long-haul routes.

    Regards,

    Steve

  6. D. Lambert’s avatar

    I understand there’s an A380 coming to EAA in Oshkosh this summer. I don’t know if they’re taking on passengers, but it could be worth looking into.

  7. oskar’s avatar

    check out http://www.qantas.com LAX-SYDney, they also fly the A380. For example QF12 on tuesday night.

  8. oskar’s avatar

    sorry, that should be wednesday night. they don’t seem to have so many planes.

  9. Dirk’s avatar

    Many more are flying the 380 at the moment, so it is becoming easier to fly one.

    Singapore has I think at least four or five in service. Quantas has I think two in service and then you have Emirates with a few. They fly to from Sydney, Singapore, LAX, JFK, LHR, NRT, Dubai and Melbourne.

    Good luck. Also it is reported that it has a very silent cabin.

  10. Ole Eichhorn’s avatar

    Wow, what a coincidence… I just saw one in person for the first time, a Quantas at LAX, as I landed on my way back from Washington. My comment (http://w-uh.com/posts/090509.html#L2) was “If you haven’t see one yet, trust me, they are qualitatively larger than, well, anything. How cool that we humans can make machines like that, and they fly…”

  11. Michael Perry’s avatar

    I seem them almost each time I fly into Singapore. I was next to one in a 777 extra cabin. I felt like I was in some junior thing with someone pulling the plane with a string on the front. The things are truly immense.

    I’m gonna be on one of them one of these days. I go to Singapore every 3 months now. I’m gonna arrange a flight one of these days to take care of that.

  12. Andrew Lighten’s avatar

    Qantas fly them too, Doc.

  13. Scott’s avatar

    Qantas (Sydney to LA and London) and Singapore (Singapore to London and Sydney) are also flying the A380 commercially.

    By the way, Qantas is an abbreviation of “Qantas and Northern Territory Aerial Services”. There is no “U”.

  14. Mic Edwards’s avatar

    Singapore Airlines was the first airline to fly the A380.

    According to Wikipedia, fourteen aircraft have been delivered to SIA, QFF and Emirates … and I’d imagine almost all of these are in service.

    There are no “cargo versions” in service! The freighter version was cancelled and AFAIK there are no dedicated cargo aircraft among the fleets of those airlines already flying the A380.

  15. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Ah. Hmm. Thanks, Mic. I know I’ve seen one at LAX. Must have been one of the commercial ones.

  16. Tina Carnelli’s avatar

    Air France will take delivery of its first A380 in October. It is the second airline to select the new Engine Alliance GP7200 engines for its A380 fleet. Emirates also chose this engine to power its fleet of 58 A380s. Korean Air is scheduled to take delivery if its first A380 in December of 2010.

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