Airbus is to operate a series of route-proving flights with its Engine Alliance GP7000-powered A380, conducting four tours which will take the jet to South America, the USA, the Asia-Pacific region and Canada.
Similar tests have been carried out with the Rolls-Royce Trent 900-powered A380 since last year. The latest certification exercise, which will be performed by A380 number MSN009, will involve around 150hr of operations.
The first of the four tours will begin on 26 September when the aircraft flies to the Colombian capital Bogota before returning to Toulouse. From 2-5 October it will travel to the USA, flying to Windsor Locks in Connecticut, and Hebron in Kentucky, before heading for San Francisco.
MSN009’s third tour will take it to Dubai, Melbourne and the Philippine cities of Manila and Luzon from 8-13 October. From Toulouse the jet will then travel again to Bogota, before heading for Vancouver in Canada and Osaka in Japan from 15-19 October.
Airbus expects to achieve type certification for the GP7000-powered version of the A380 in December this year. The Trent 900-equipped A380 obtained certification in December 2006.