European aircraft maker Airbus unveiled its biggest passenger liner yet on Tuesday, a super-jumbo jet, but don’t look for it in the skies over Iowa anytime soon. Midwest travel industry consultant Terry Trippler says Iowans who want to fly the new double-decker A-380 will likely have to connect to another larger airport first. Trippler says “It’s going to be such a large aircraft, it’s going to generate a tremendous amount of media and people are going to want to fly it, and one flight across the Pacific rather than two flights across the Pacific should save a few gallons of fuel.” Trippler says the 555-passenger jet is so large, airlines will be limited to using it on heavy-duty runways at hubs like Chicago or New York. He says the A-380 will change the travel industry, just like the Boeing 747 did when it was introduced in 1969. Trippler says “It made a big difference. There were airlines that said they weren’t going to get it but eventually they had to. If one has it, they all have to have it.” The A-380 will carry its 555 passengers in a two-class configuration. That’s about 200 more than the 747. Airbus says it will cost 15-percent less to operate than its aging American-built competitor. Some of the navigational and communications equipment on the A-380 was built by Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell-Collins.
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