Airbus has published the schedule of the A380's technical route-proving flights ahead of certification, as the aircraft completes hot and high tests in Ethiopia.

The fully furnished, 474-seat, three-class test A380 (F-WXXL), will start its technical route proving exercise on 13 November 2006 to carry out function and reliability tests at key airports around the world. The aircraft will be operated by Airbus flight crews with the participation of pilots from both the European Aviation Safety Agency and the US Federal Aviation Administration. 

A Roll-Royce Trent 900-powered aircraft, manufacturer's serial number 002 (MSN002) will start from Toulouse before visiting ten airports in four missions. The visits are as follows:

  • 14 November: Singapore
  • 15 November: Seoul
  • 18 November: Hong Kong
  • 19 November: Narita
  • 22 November: Guangzhou
  • 23 November: Beijing
  • 23 November: Shanghai
  • 26 November: Johannesburg
  • 28 November: Sydney
  • 29 November: Vancouver

During the fourth of these trips, the A380 will fly via both poles, with the South Pole being crossed between Johannesburg and Sydney and then the North Pole on the aircraft's return from Vancouver to Toulouse.

Meanwhile, MSN009  completed its high altitude tests at Bole international airport in Addis Ababba, Ethiopia in mid-October. The airport sits at 7,500ft (2,286 metres) above sea level (see top two pictures below).

The aircraft continued its course to Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates (see bottom three pictures below) to undergo hot weather tests, which included a number of on-ground tests, take-offs and landings in temperatures reaching up to 38°C (100°F), says Airbus.

A380 Addis Ababba 01 
 A380 Addis Ababa 02
 A380 Al Ain 01
All photos © Airbus / Sébastien Ognier
 A380 Al Ain 02
 A380 Al Ain 03