August 2012

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First A380 for QANTAS - The road to delivery

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qfa380-14.jpgIn Toulouse tomorrow, Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services will take delivery of its first Airbus A380-800.

QANTAS, the common shorthand form of the Australian flag carrier, will be handed the keys to MSN014, an aircraft that has gone by many different names in its short life. The aircraft has been called by its manufacturer's serial number (14), its Airbus test registration (F-WWSK), or now by its Australian registration (VH-OQA) or given name (Nancy Bird Walton), the 450-seat A380 will fly the longest in-service A380 mission yet.

QANTAS is set to begin airline service October 20 between Melbourne and Los Angeles (QF93). Four days later, VH-OQA will commence service between Sydney and Los Angeles (QF11).

The Melbourne to Los Angeles route is about 900 nm longer than the next longest route served by an A380, Emirates' Dubai-JFK service.

March 6 - QANTAS places initial order for 12 A380s, the fifth airline to order the superjumbo.

February 1 - Structural components arrive in Toulouse for MSN014
October 29 - QANTAS increases its A380 order to 20.

November 28 - MSN014 is first spotted in Toulouse.

January 16 - F-WWSK runs it engines for the first time.
January 25 - MSN014 makes it first flight.
January 30 - The first QF A380 makes the 682 nm to Hamburg for painting and interior outfitting.
May 12 - The Marc Newson designed interior is unveiled to mixed reviews.
May 19
- MSN014 heads to the paintshop.
June 5 - MSN014 is unveiled in Hamburg after being painted in the new QANTAS livery. Note: The new livery was altered for the A380 after it was found that the roo's leg went right through the horizontal stabilizer!
August 15 - After repainting, MSN014 undergoes rejected takeoff testing at Hamburg ahead of its outfitting flight.
August 19 - F-WWSK takes off from Hamburg for a 3-hour 38-minute outfitting flight as AIB014C.
August 30 - MSN014 returns to Toulouse from Hamburg in preparation for its September 19th delivery.
September 5 - VH-OQA makes its first flight with an Australian registration.

Image credit: David Barrie

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