Airbus donates test aircraft to museums
As part of its contribution to preserving aviation heritage, Airbus is transferring four of its test aircraft to museums in France: the Musée de l’air et de l’espace at Paris-le Bourget Airport and Aeroscopia in Toulouse. The airliners involved are the first A320 MSN1/F-WWBA first flown on 22 February 1987 and recently withdrawn from the test aircraft fleet; the first ‘stretched’ A340-600 MSN360/F-WWCA constructed in 2001; and two A380s: MSN2/F-WXXL first flown on 4 November 2005 and MSN4/F-WWDD which had its maiden flight a couple of weeks earlier on 18 October 2005. This A380, now powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines, made its final flight into Le Bourget in mid-february, where the former engine development, test and flight demonstration aircraft is now undergoing a refurbishment to showcase its ‘operational’ role. Once an initial phase of technical work has been carried out on the airframe, including structural preservation, a special exhibit will be created inside the aircraft. The other three aircraft, currently being maintained by Airbus Heritage, will move to Aeroscopia in Toulouse within the next two years, once an area in the northern part of the museum has been prepared for them. The first A380 MSN1/F-WWOW remains active with the Airbus test fleet.
Airbus A380 F-WWDD was retired to Le Bourget in mid-february