By Victoria Moores in London
Airbus has deployed all 16 emergency slides on one of its A380s using only the jet’s battery power, marking the largest number of slides simultaneously inflated on a passenger aircraft.
The test, which was performed last week, is part of the type’s European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and US Federal Aviation Administration certification programme.
Airbus must demonstrate that, using power only from internal battery reserves, the aircraft is able to deploy all slides to provide escape routes from all exits in an emergency. The manufacturer is aiming to secure certification for the A380, which will typically have around 555 seats in a three-class configuration, by the end of 2006.