News

    World's Biggest Airliner Rolled Out in France

    Lisa Bryant

    The world's biggest civil airliner made its debut near the French industrial city of Toulouse with a lavish party attended by four European heads of state. Lisa Bryant has more from Paris about the new Airbus A380 - and clashing visions about the future of the airline industry offered by Airbus's European makers and the rival U.S. company, Boeing.

    The size of a soccer field and as high as an eight-story hotel, the new A380 is colossal. It is the fruit of a transnational European collaboration, and cost a hefty $15.6 billion to construct.

    The new airliner represents a European gamble that the future of airline travel lies partly in giant aircraft, making marathon flights to major world airports.

    French President Jacques Chirac, who attended the A380 ceremonies near Toulouse, said the aircraft demonstrated Europe's ability to realize great scientific and industrial projects.

    Addressing leaders from Germany, Britain, and Spain, and about 5,000 other guests, Mr. Chirac called for many other European projects of similar size and ambition. He noted the French government's recently announced plans to create an agency dedicated to industrial innovation to help fulfill this goal.

    European know-how already scored a coup last week when one of its space probes landed on a Saturn moon, Titan. Now similar European pride is resonating when it comes to the A380, which will stick to routes closer to Earth.

    The new airliner is a study in luxury and cutting-edge design. It comes equipped with 555 seats, along with a gym, casino, library, shops and cocktail bar. It is also made with material that allows passengers to enjoy larger windows and higher humidity inside the cabin.

    The A380's first commercial flight is expected to take place next year. But so far, only 60 airports are equipped to host the super-sized plane. And some 140 firm orders for the A380 have not even paid for its construction costs.

    The European aircraft aims to replace rival Boeing's 747 jumbo jet. But Boeing is staking its future on more modest planes, aimed for medium-sized airports as well as major world hubs. The U.S. company is expected to unroll this vision with its 7E7 Dreamliner aircraft, in 2007.

    Competition between Boeing and Airbus is longstanding. The United States and Europe barely avoided suing each other last week over traded accusations that each was subsidizing their respective aircraft companies.

    At present Airbus has surpassed Boeing as the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora