more shade for AeroShell Square By Randy Dufault, EAA AirVenture
Photo by Jim
The Airbus A-380 is towed to AeroShell Square through noon on
July 28, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin - Shade
from the sun, a long sought and often rare commodity at EAA AirVenture
Oshkosh 2009, should be more readily available, at least on AeroShell
Square, after the Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger airliner, was
towed today to its parking position.
According to EAA Chairman and President Tom
Poberezny, the massive plane's visit here is the result of a lot of hard
work and tireless effort.
"This is the result of a three-year
dream and a lot of work on the part of many people," Poberezny said
at a post landing news conference. "And all that hard work was proven
out today with this flawless arrival."
Piloted by Claude Lelaie and Terry Lutz,
both active members of the GA community, the huge craft performed an
impressive display of its capabilities before entering the pattern for a
landing on Wittman Regional Airport's Runway 18.
The strong crosswind from the west was very
apparent as the plane visibly crabbed into the wind as it made its final
However, the wind was well within A380
design limits and after a landing right on the numbers, Lelaie and Lutz
had it stopped well within the 5,500-foot distance before the taxiway
turn-off to AeroShell Square.
"This plane lands on the same runways
as smaller aircraft like the A320," Lelaie said. "So it should
have the same sort of maneuverability."
Lelaie is a veteran of a past AirVenture
Oshkosh. In 1981 he traveled from France to Oshkosh with his Cri-Cri, one
of the world's smallest twin-engined airplanes. At the time two 11-hp
engines powered the Cri-Cri.
"It's great to be back 28 years
later," he said. "And especially great to be back with this
The Cri-Cri again traveled here with Lelaie,
this time in the belly of the A380. He did note that since its last visit,
it was upgraded to two 15-hp engines. Plans are to display the small plane
in the shadow of the Airbus.
Lutz, an EAA member, graduate of the U.S.
Air Force Flight Test School and former Northwest Airlines A320 captain,
is also an AirVenture Oshkosh veteran. He brought his personal airplane
here to Oshkosh last month during a break in his Airbus test flight
Commenting on the maneuverability the plane
demonstrated before its landing Lutz said, "[The A380] does
everything we ask it to. It has been a great pleasure to work on this
program with Airbus these last three years."
Speaking about the walk-through tours that
will begin Wednesday morning Lutz said, "If you have never had the
opportunity to see a commercial airliner with the interior removed, you
are in for a real treat."
Beyond the exposed heating and cooling
system, wiring and plumbing, this test plane includes water tanks that are
filled to test different weight and balance conditions, and electrical
load test systems for testing power systems, along with a large amount of
data collection sensors and data recording systems.
Due to the flight demonstration, the
aircraft was limited to essential crew only for the short flight from
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, here to Oshkosh. Three flight test engineers, Lelaie
and Lutz comprised the entire manifest.
Tom Anders, chairman of Airbus and about 30
other Airbus staff flew along with the crew from Toulouse, France, to
"I seldom get the opportunity to fly
with my team," Anders said. "It was exciting. This is an active
test aircraft and on the flight from Toulouse to Milwaukee the team was
actively working on GPS upgrades and [auxiliary power unit]
Seventeen A380s are in service now, with
four different airlines. Anders indicated they hope to deliver eight or
nine more by the end of the year.
The craft will be readied for free
walk-through tours starting Wednesday morning. Tour hours are 10 a.m. to 4
p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Friday.
Another flight demonstration is planned for
Friday afternoon when the A380 departs EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3;
2015: July 27-Aug. 2