Airbus is carrying out the first flight of the Engine Alliance GP7200-powered version of the A380 after the aircraft took off from Toulouse at 10:00.
The maiden flight of the aircraft MSN009 (F-WWEA, pictured below), is likely to last 3-4h. It is the fifth and final aircraft developed for the A380 flight-test programme and the first to be powered by the General Electric / Pratt & Whitney GP7200 engine.
All four previous aircraft in the programme are equipped with the rival Rolls-Royce Trent 900 powerplant; these have accumulated 1,800h in more than 575 flights.
Test pilot Guy Magrin is in charge of the flight. Airbus has named the rest of the flight crew as test pilot Franck Chapman, and flight engineers Bruno Bigand, Patrick du Che and Jean-Philippe Cottet.
Carriers Emirates, Air France and Korean Air as well as freight operators FedEx and UPS, as well as lessor International Lease Finance, have all selected the Engine Alliance powerplant for their A380s.