05.11.2009 14 °C
As blog followers probably know - we love the really ancient stuff. Give us a medieval village, a ruined castle or a Rod Stewart album, and we are in our element. But we’re not complete Luddites - we have got our own blog!! And we love to fly. So today we went to the factory in Toulouse where the Airbus A380 - the World’s largest airplane - is manufactured.
Visits are by reservation only, but their online reservation site was down - (not a good advert for a company offering to stuff 800 people into a big metal box and drive them halfway around the world). So we took a chance and amazingly arrived just ten minutes before one of the few English language tours of the week. “Zhe reservation is obligatoire,” the check-in clerk said, but after a few minutes on “Standby” we were ushered onto the bus and driven to the main factory.
Here is Sheila on the runway with our guide - Yannique.
We’d love to show you more pictures, but after the Ruskies pinched plans of the Concorde in the ’60’s the French are paranoid about being spied upon.
Anyway, all the bits of an Airbus A380 are actually produced in England, Germany and Spain. The guys in Toulouse just plop all the pieces together and shove in a few rivets. It’s just like Meccano for grown-ups, (for those of you old enough to remember).
With a maximum capacity exceeding 800 and a minimum price tag of 327 million U.S. dollars there is no superlative too over the top to describe this monster. for instance - each of the four engine cowlings have a greater diameter than the fuselage of an Airbus A200.
Here we are lining up for our first trip - but we might queue for a very long time if we wait for Easyjet or Air Canada to get one.