Friday, March 13, 2015

Pic(k) of the week 11: Ready for boarding, Airbus A380 Zurich

The Airbus A380, the world largest passenger airliner has been in the news again lately. There seems to be one side of the story that speculates that the production of the Jumbo jet made in Toulouse, will end somewhere near the end of the decennia, while the other camp believes Airbus will develop a re-engined more economical version of the bird, called the NEO (New Engine Option). I personally believe it will be the latter...

As a pilot who flies these birds for a living, I can tell you that the A380 is probably the best Airbus product from a pilots perspective, although the new A350 might come in close! Passengers seem to all love it, as I've yet have to come across a passenger who doesn't!

Unlike what some people tend to think, the A380 does not need a longer runway than any of the other wide-body aircraft such as the Boeing 747, 777 or Airbus A330/340/350. What is needed are wide enough taxiways and suitable boarding and disembarkation gates, although a few sets of standard passenger steps can do the job as well.

The image below of an A380, just before boarding, shows some of the ground equipment and preparations for a flight. Generally speaking, cargo and catering on modern airliners is being loaded on the right hand side, while passengers board from the left. Specific to the double deck configuration of the A380, special boarding gates in two levels are being used; most companies having First and Business class upstairs, with Economy on the lower floor. Something I wanted to highlight in the image below by using the photographic "leading lines" principle.

Refuelling is done by pumping fuel into one or both of the wing refuelling points; in this case the one on the left hand side (right side of the photo). A total of 320.000 liters or 84500 USG of Jet A(1) fuel can be loaded.

The ground handling phase can get pretty busy as can be seen in the image of an A380 preparing for boarding at Zurich, Switzerland below.

Ready for boarding, A380 Zurich

Image details:
Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF 10-24 f4 lens
IOS 200, F4.5, 18mm (27mm full frame equivalent), 1/1800s
RAW development in Lightroom 5.7
Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 for contrast adjustment
Nik SilverEfex 2 to convert into Black and White

Although not a fan of selective color, I decided to leave a fraction of color in the airline livery.

More of my images of the Airbus A380 can be found here

Orville Wright, the first pilot flying a powered aircraft once said: "No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris". How wrong was he!


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