Autocar's unique road test broadens it horizons
24 December 2008

It's time for the Christmas Road Test. We've already covered Concorde, the Ark Royal, Eurostar, a Liebherr mining truck and a Volvo racing yacht. Each tested in extreme detail and put in the context of its competitors.

The subject of this year's Autocar Christmas Road Test is no less spectacular. It's 73m long, 25m high, weighs 277 tonnes and each of its four 6700kg engines produces 70,000lb of thrust. Yes, it's the Airbus A380.

See all the pics of the Airbus A380

Read the full road test in the 180-page special issue of Autocar - in the shops from today.

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Comments
8

29 December 2008

Sorry to rain on anyone's parade, but when you click upon view images of the A380, the page states that Emirates was the first operator of the plane...in fact it was Singapore Airlines. Hope you had fun on board the world's largest Rolls Royce!

29 December 2008

[quote M_Nolan]Hope you had fun on board the world's largest Rolls Royce! [/quote]

Sorry to rain on your parade, but although the plane was conceived to use Rolls-Royce Trent engines, the Emirates A380s are powered by Pratt & Whitney / GE Aviation EA GP7000 engines (Autocar magazine 17/24 Dec 08 page 48 bottom left).

I don't know about the Singapore Airlines versions - I'm not really into planes. I prefer vehicles where the wheels mostly remain in contact with the earths surface, and preferably four or more of them nowadays.

29 December 2008

Great piece of engineering but it scares the life out of me.

Has anyone else noticed that due to increasing noise and emission regulations, planes are throttling back sooner after take off out of UK airports? Just makes them a little more susceptible to turbulence closer to the ground...... and on a plane that big!!!!

Irrational fears, don't you just love them.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

29 December 2008

(Quote Autocar) It's 73m long, 25m high, 80m long, weighs 277 tonnes (End Quote)

Autocar which is it, 73m long or 80m long??

One thing i notice on this website, is the lack of proof reading. Many of the stories on here have so many errors, it's worse than the BBC website and that's saying something.

29 December 2008

Hopefully one day I may get to move off the A320 onto the A380.

"I don't know about the Singapore Airlines versions - I'm not really into planes. I prefer vehicles where the wheels mostly remain in contact with the earths surface, and preferably four or more of them nowaday."

Yes the SIA and the Qantas planes are running with the Rolls Royce engines at the moment. The Roller seems to be the more popular engine with orders so far. [quote TegTypeR]

Has anyone else noticed that due to increasing noise and emission regulations, planes are throttling back sooner after take off out of UK airports? Just makes them a little more susceptible to turbulence closer to the ground...... and on a plane that big!!!!

Irrational fears, don't you just love them.

[/quote]

Completely understandable, however the pilots would not be reducing from take off power to climb power unless it was safe to do so. When I was training in a twin engine piston, we would reduce to climb power at 500'

Finally the wingspan is just under 80 metres, and the overall length is just under 73 metres.

30 December 2008

Hi,

I just thought the comparison with the 747 was a bit off - the a380 has 200 orders so far - Boeing is struggling to seel passenger versions of the 747-8; Lufthansa has ordered 20 or so, but no one else, and it's been on sale for a while...

31 December 2008

Thanks Matt, thoroughly enjoyed reading all about it in the Xmas issue, especially the small print!

2 January 2009

I thought the test was badly researched and ended up being a lovely PR success for General Electric; there were lots of unsubstantiated "GE engines are better than RR engines in the article".

So much fuel saved by buying a GE engine - really?

So much quieter than the Rolls-Royce engine - really?

The fact is that more A380s are ordered with the Rolls-Royce engine than the GE engines and that there were many delays and problems encountered by the GE engine in development when at the same time the Rolls-Royce engine was actually in service and flying reliably, efficiently and quietly.

Perhaps the choice between the unproven GE Engines (including their fuel consumption and noise figures in service) and the proven Rolls-Royce ones are not as straight forward as you portrayed in the test.

I dont think an "ordinary" Autocar roadtest would have quoted unsubstantiated fuel consumption, noise and other figures if they could not be verified (or would at least say the figures were unverified as you hadnt tested the opposition).

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