A380 grounded at Le Bourget after wingtip severed

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Yesterday evening in downtown Paris the Flightglobal team spent about 10 minutes watching a red Fiat 500 try to parallel park in between two larger cars. Admittedly, the space was quite small, but the driver of the little red Fiat seemed to disregard the bumpers of the cars to the front and to the rear. We tried to guide the troubled driver into her space, but to no avail the other cars were of no interest.
Parking an A380, the world’s largest commercial aircraft by passenger capacity, maximum takeoff weight and wingspan, isn’t built with bumpers and its margins for error are considerably smaller when squeezing the superjumbo into its spot on the Paris Air Show static display. Yesterday afternoon, not long before the Great Fiat Bumper Massacre of 2011, MSN004‘s right wingtip clipped a small structure, severing the massive wing fence. The result was the cancellation of the A380′s participation in both the flying display and, more importantly, any kind of flying at all.
This isn’t the first time the A380 – or a jumbo jet – has “lovetapped” another object, but again, the setting was quite public and in the overnight vacuum of news between the Sunday’s Day Zero and Monday’s Day One the clip made its way around the world in a hurry.
Photo Credit @Niekvdz

7 Responses to A380 grounded at Le Bourget after wingtip severed

  1. Wilbur Wrong Way Corrigan June 20, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Go ahead and fly it, Airbus – ’tis nothing but a minor flesh wound.

  2. John Dodge June 20, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    Truly the plane that can’t get out of its own way…it’s too BIG!

  3. dopydem June 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    It’s looking like the A-380 needs wing walkers in the ramp area to keep it from hitting other “things”.
    Could a cottage industry develop building A-380 wing tips?

  4. Dave B. June 20, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Maybe they need to develop folding wingtips (like what was originally proposed for the 777) for the Whalejet. Way too many incidents involving those massive wings.

  5. cha cha June 20, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    ha! ha! ha! Its look alike, the dolphins can swim better even in tight spaces. Seriously, it’s just too big.

  6. SDFlight June 21, 2011 at 3:07 am #

    It’s to big for the “grande nation”, both wing tip damages were produced either by AF or AF Ground handling…

  7. Sven June 21, 2011 at 7:09 am #

    Regarding the driver of the Fiat: he didn’t have trouble parking; that’s just how Parisians park. There are actually recommendations in travel guides that you don’t park your car on the side of the street in Paris if you don’t want it to get “bumped” out of the way.