The worlds largest commercial airplane is on the ground in Wisconsin. MSN001 has made its first stop on its way to Wittman Regional Airport by way of Milwaukee. Having landed at around 2 PM CT today in Wisconsin, F-WWOW will spend the day at General Mitchell Airport for customs clearance and provide airport official a chance to get acquainted with the aircraft.
The A380's passengers, comprising about 30 crew and mechanics, will spend the night in Milwaukee for crew rest and final preparations for the arrival into Oskhosh. The A380 has had to jump through many hoops to pull off this event. Because Airbus isn't an airline, the A380 cannot transport non-essential staff or passengers between two airports. Many of the company's staff will drive between Milwaukee and Oshkosh as a result. On previous visits to the US when passengers have flown on the Airbus owned A380s, the flights always landed at the same airport the aircraft departed from.
Tuesday afternoon, F-WWOW will depart Milwaukee and will make the 69 NM trip north. The superjumbo, flown by Airbus test pilot Terry Lutz, will arrive in the skies over Oshkosh around 3 PM CT where it will fly a seven-minute flying display before making the approach to runway 36.
The 8,002x150 foot runway is more than long enough to accomodate the lightly loaded (720,000-lb) A380, however the there is only one taxiway (P-2) at Wittman Regional Airport that the A380 can use to exit the runway. The aircraft will have about 5,500 feet to land before the P-2 turn off to Aeroshell Square. Airbus has brought in a A380 sized supertug from JFK to ensure that the massive aircraft gets into Aeroshell Square on the first (and only) try available to EAA.
The Aeroshell Square ramp is exactly one foot wider than wingspan of F-WWOW making the maneuver that much more challenging. I'll be covering the arrival live on twitter and here on the blog over the next two days.