Friday, May 28, 2004

Spruce Goose revisited…………

Very exciting times at work at the moment……. Over the last few weeks I’ve been travelling the length and breadth of the Country art directing some photography for the new, yet to fly and size of a Continent Airbus airliner – the A380.

This thing is bloody massive, in a Sprucey-Goosey, Howard Hughesey sort of way. The biggest civil aircraft ever planned - it makes a ‘jumbo’ looks like a weedy adolescent in comparison – it’ll take over 550 passengers, easy and resides in several time zones at any one time (nearly).

When we first arrived at one of the designated factories and saw wing struts being milled out of solid slabs of Aluminium on a milling machine 80 metres long, I was gobsmacked – swarf and shiny metal everywhere. In these days of namby pamby light industry, it was somewhat refreshing to see blood, snot sweat and a bit of the old Victorian ‘can do’ ethos coming through.

It’s also good to see Airbus industries spanking Boeing for market share – Airbus currently have 80% of the global civil aircraft market – outselling the Yanks – whatever next? We sidled over to the carts that held the wing spars, again size matters – they are monsters …… "How the hell are they going to fit on a plane fuselage without flopping down?" – I was just like a 10 year old kid, asking my dad who invented gravity. (He used to tell me that apparently Otto Gravity from Germany invented it)…..

My contact looked a bit surprised and reassured me, telling me not to worry and that it would all work swimmingly - he almost patted me on the head!

I left this hive of industry reassured that when all the bits being made from factories all over Europe are finally put together in Toulouse – the thing will actually fly.

I can’t wait to see it – from a distance obviously, much too scary to actually fly on it.

Have a good weekend.