The first airbus 380 was transferred to Singapore yesterday and a celebratory ceremony was held in Toulouse.
Last year when we were camping near Perpignan , sheltering from a strong and long Tramontana wind, we had our own personal flying display from this fantastic machine.
It was was early in the season and there were very few people around.
We became aware of a noise even louder that the constant strong wind, then suddenly it roared overhead, and we at once recognised it as the gigantic Airbus 380, whose wings had been manufactured at Broughton in North Wales.
We tried to follow its progress as it was flying very low. It returned to the airport just to the west of us, appeared to land and then shot upwards again… and kept doing so for ages.
The region is famed for its strong and gusty Tramontanas, indeed a tree was blown down on the camp site that very day, (though fortunately it smashed onto an unoccupied pitch). This caused us to check out what kind of tree it was, and to ensure that there were none which were of a similar type upwind of us.
The plane was based at Toulouse, but had been waiting for just this weather to be able to fly down to Perpignan for these essential wind trials for real.
We felt excited and privileged to have been in the right place at the right time to witness these important trials.
So now she is off on her professional career.
Her first passenger carrying flight will be a charity ‘do’ later this month, before the money making trips start in earnest.