The Fruit of Long Labors Is Delivered to Singapore

Like many frequent travelers, I am very excited about the new Airbus A380 Airplane. Today was a great day for the company, as Singapore Airlines took possession of their first 550-seat bird. View an amazing cutaway view of the jumbo jet here.

What a beauty! There were the famous and luscious Singapore Airlines hostesses, pictured standing in front of the cavernous passenger area, eight big rows and TVs in every seatback. I am sure that flying in this new plane is going to feel different. It also gives 50% lower cabin noise than a 747 and a lower cabin altitude of 5000 ft; both features are expected to reduce the effects of travel fatigue. And you will be able to walk around, up and down the two levels, so long flights won’t feel so confining.

The WSJ ran a long story yesterday about how the managers at Airbus heroically saved the company from ruin after the delays on the A380 project. They moved a team of German engineers 80 strong to Toulouse from Hamburg to complete the important work, and fed them duck, foie gras and Languedoc wines to make them feel comfortable.

The reason for the two-year delay on the plane was due to two teams using two different design software programs to work on the same plane. By not forcing the Germans to use the newer, better versions, the French lost them. But a man named Fuchs kicked butt and made the engineers work together. For the first time in history, the journal said, the two nations would work as one on key parts of a major project. “I could sense it was an historic decision for Airbus,” said a French manager.