Things are finally starting to look up for Airbus' troubled
A380 superjumbo program. The first production A380 was delivered
to Singapore Airlines on Monday in Toulouse, France. The plane was then
flown from France to Changi Airport in Singapore where it will await final preparations
for its first scheduled flight on October 25.
The A380, however, is making an even bigger splash in the
news world for a completely different reason. Flight
Global reports that the U.S. Air Force (USAF) is looking at the A380 as
a replacement for two aircraft programs: a replacement for the Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy
and as a replacement for the Boeing 747-200B (VC-25A) used as Air Force
The C-5 Galaxy made its maiden flight on June 30, 1968 and
first entered service in June of 1970. The USAF Air Mobility Command (AMC)
requested information on the A380F freighter last year as a possible
replacement for use as a heavy military airlifter.
Plans to upgrade the existing C-5 Galaxy fleet are estimated
to run 50 to 100 percent over budget according to the USAF and Airbus' new
A380F would make an ideal, modern and cost-efficient platform.
In addition, the USAF is looking at the A380 as a
replacement for the current Air Force One which was introduced in 1990. Boeing
isn't giving up the fight, however. The company is well aware of the
competitive efforts involved in finding a replacement for the VC-25A and is
offering up a 747-8
which uses new wings and engines for increased fuel efficiency.
Boeing has provided jet-powered transportation for the
President dating back to the Boeing 707 first used by John F. Kennedy.
Airbus' A380 superjumbo has been the subject of more than a
few articles on DailyTech. The A380
was delayed in September of last year due to wiring problems
-- a month later; Airbus announced that deliveries of the aircraft would be delayed by an entire
In November 2006, FedEx dumped the A380
and instead decided to go with Boeing's 777. A few months later in March 2007,
UPS announced that it too would cancel its orders for
the A380F. The UPS cancellation meant that Airbus had lost its last A380F