When I first saw a picture of the Airbus A380 I thought it was a rather unattractive looking airplane. Very different from anything I had seen before in the high-capacity, long range passenger aircraft genre, it just did not catch my interest. Well, a long time has passed since then and as I write, the first commercial flight of this amazing giant of an aircraft is less than two days away.
Singapore Airlines A380 9V-SKA will operate SQ380 from Singapore Changi International to Sydney Kingsford-Smith Airport on Thursday, October 25th, 2007. Make no mistake, this is aviation history in the making and well worth celebrating.
At EastWest Airlines (VA) Australia (EWA), the significance of this historic event has not been lost on us. Our first A380, VH-EBA "Capt J. S. Neuss" was flown nonstop from Toulouse to our home base at Emerald Lake, Queensland, on October 1920 - 19:29 in real time - and may well be a distance record for a commercial passenger jet in the Microsoft Flight Simulator environment. It was just an awesome flight in an aircraft modeled exceptionally well by Robert Versluys. Freeware, by the way; thanks for your valuable contribution to the world of flight simming, Robert.
An advantage of being a virtual airline with no real world equivalent to model an aircraft fleet on is that we can take full advantage of such a milestone aviation event by adding the A380 to our fleet, paralleling an airline like Singapore Airlines which, thankfully, showed great faith in Airbus and the A380. We already have our A380 schedules posted on our Operations Forum. Those schedules will expand in line with SIA's A380 fleet expansion which will soon see the A380 on the Singapore-London route.
EWA is A380-ready and so once again we claim to be the pacesetter in the Oceania area of virtual airline operations. Our scheduled A380 services commence on October 28th, the same day SIA puts 9V-SKA into regular service. That is an outstanding first for this "quiet achiever" of Australian-based Virtual Airlines and we are justly proud of it.
A quick look around various online flying web sites shows no mention of Thursday's A380 charity flight but yes, you guessed it, EWA will be there, operating VH-EBA from WSSS to YSSY, ETD Changi 250000Z; ETA YSSY 250725Z. The flight will be conducted on the FSFDT network, should anyone be interested in participating.