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May 15th, 2005

1st Edition

Proud of His Haitian Heritage shares his Success

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5/3/2005, 4:53:29 PM



World’s Biggest Airliner Completes Maiden Flight


he world’s biggest a i r l i n e r, t h e European Airbus A380, flew for the first time on Wednesday in a new challenge to U.S. rival Boeing Co. in the battle for the global aviation market. The double-decker A380, designed to carry 555 passengers but with room for more than 800, touched

Some experts say it will have to sell almost three times as many to make a profit. Boeing said it was pleased the flight test passed successfully and congratulated Airbus. “We always thought it would fly because that’s what airplanes do,” Boeing Chief Executive James Bell said. “And we also thought our bet on the mid-range market was a better bet and we think our orders traffic is sustaining that, so we’re 2 and 0,” he said referring to two big orders Boeing announced this week.

Boeing Goes For Dreamliner

down smoothly almost four hours after soaring into sunny skies on its maiden flight above Airbus headquarters near Toulouse in southern France. The European Airbus consortium is counting on the A380 to help it keep its edge over Boeing, while the U.S. company says it believes the future lies in smaller long-range airliners. Thousands of enthusiasts cheered outside the perimeter fence as the plane, carrying a six-man test crew, landed after completing a series of tests of equipment and in-flight procedures on the world’s heaviest commercial airliner. “You handle (this aircraft) as you handle a bicycle. It’s very, very easy to fly,” chief test pilot Jacques Rosay said after fellow pilot Claude Lelaie landed the $285 million plane. The A380, as long as eight London buses and with enough room on its wings to park 70 cars, heralds a new era in passenger travel, just as the supersonic Concorde HaitiHerald cover.indd 2

Boeing has vowed to end the dominance of Airbus, which has outsold the Chicagobased plane maker in every year since 2001, and the two rivals are locked in a struggle in which each accuses the other of having unfair subsidies. Boeing has been focusing on a much smaller moneysaver in the 787 Dreamliner which is due in 2008, and has won two big deals in the past few days with Air India and Air Canada worth a total of around $13 billion. The A380 will now make up to 2,500 hours of test flights to pave the way for it to enter service in the second half of 2006. European aerospace group EADS has an 80 percent stake in Airbus and British defense firm BAE Systems has a 20 percent stake. It has taken Airbus nearly five years and some 12 billion euros ($15.68 billion) to develop the A380, including 1.45 billion euros of cost overruns. The A380 ended the fourdecade reign of Boeing’s 747 jumbo as the biggest airliner to have flown. It looks like a 747 with the upper deck stretched all the way to the tail.

The French cabinet burst into applause when President Jacques Chirac announced the A380 had successfully taken off. Chirac hailed its safe return as a “total success” of the project which had written a new page of aeronautical history. “It is a magnificent result for European industrial cooperation and an encouragement to pursue this path of building a Europe of innovation and progress,” he said. His close ally German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder saluted a victory for European industrial policy: “This shows that when we work hard ... we can be the best in the world. Airbus has a combined 154 orders and commitments from 15 customers and Airbus Chief Executive Noel Forgeard said he expected more orders this year, although not in the next few days. He gave no details.

Sizing Up the Airbus A380 Double-Decker Plane European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is set to fly the world’s largest airliner, the A380, for the first time on Wednesday. Here is how the mammoth double-decker measures up: * The A380 is 49 feet wider, 13 feet taller, 6.5 feet longer and 118 tons heavier than the Boeing Co. 747 jumbo, which has reigned as the largest airliner for four decades. * The A380 looks like a 747 jumbo with the upper deck stretched all the way back to the tail. * The Airbus double-decker is the length of eight London buses and has enough room on its massive wings to park 70 cars. * The A380 will seat 555 passengers in first class, business and economy

cabins. A 747 laid out the same way seats 416. * An all-economy class A380 could seat 853 passengers versus 568 for a 747. * Cocktail bars, casinos, showers, libraries and sleeping quarters for staff tucked under the floorboards are among the novel ways airlines could use the A380’s space. * A wingspan of 261 feet 10 inches means the A380 is too large for most airport docking bays. UK airport operator BAA Plc alone has budgeted 450 million pounds ($842 million) to build larger facilities to handle the planes. * At take-off the A380’s four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines will generate as much thrust as 3,500 cars. An alliance between GE and Pratt & Whitney is also supplying engines. * The A380 has 16 passenger doors and escape slides on both decks, with the upper slides standing 25 feet high. * Airbus lists 139 firm orders for the A380 from 13 customers. Dubai-based airline Emirates will have the largest A380 fleet with 45. * Customers expect at least a 15 percent improvement in costs per seat-mile as compared with the 747-400. * The A380 has a list price of $285 million each, compared with about $210 million for the smaller Boeing 747-400. Both companies usually give discounts.

* Singapore Airlines is due to use the plane first and is scheduled to take delivery in the first quarter of 2006. * The A380 will be most common on long routes linking Asia and the Middle East to Europe and the United States. Flights to and from Australia are also expected to be a key market. * Airports gearing up for the plane include London’s Heathrow, New York’s John F. Kennedy International, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and Frankfurt. * The A380 is the second biggest plane ever built. For sheer size it is topped by the six-engine Antonov An-225 Mriya cargo plane, of which only two have been built. Designed to carry space shuttles for the former Soviet Union, the An-225 is 34 feet longer and 25 feet wider but not as tall as the A380. Howard Hughes’ ill-fated Spruce Goose flying boat, which flew once in 1947 and was designed to carry 750 troops, had a wider wingspan to incorporate its eight engines but was shorter than the A380. (Sources: Airbus, industry Web sites, brokerages)

5/3/2005, 4:52:03 PM





We were not thrilled with the concept cars at the recent New York International Auto Show. The fact that Nissan Motor’s Sport, a compact-car prototype, stands out in our minds as the most handsome vehicle at the show e i t h e r


concept cars of



Selection has been surprisingly scarce over past year

Lotus Elise nfortunately, the past 12 months have not exactly been a banner year for these vehicles. Concept cars are prototypes that may or may not reach production. Automakers build them with varying degrees of seriousness. Some are thinly-veiled previews of cars coming down the pipeline. Others, such as Peugeot’s Quark prototype, a concept from last fall’s Paris Motor Show that looks like a dune buggy and runs on hydrogen, are just for fun.


demonstrates that compact cars have come a long way, or that there were slim pickings at the auto show. We’re leaning toward the latter. On the other hand, there have been some real lulus on the concept-car scene in the last 12 months. Ford Motor’s Shelby GR-1, a preview of how the company’s GT supercar might evolve, looks gorgeous and has a 605-horsepower V-10 engine. If Ford puts a version of this car into production, the model will be one of the rarest of automotive commodities: a hardtop coupe with a tencylinder power plant. Right now, the only such car on the roads is the Lamborghini Gallardo, although a coupe version of DaimlerChrysler’s V10-powered Dodge Viper SRT-10 convertible

is due out this fall. Let’s say Ford decides to build the GR-1. Having previewed it first in concept form




would still have been a smart move for Ford; in fact, many if not most automobiles begin their lives as concept cars. The reason for that is because concept cars give automakers a chance to gauge public opinion on the ideas on which they are working. In fact, the way crowds at auto shows react to concept cars often determines whether the prototypes will ever become vehicles for public consumption.

engineering is headed (and that look is sometimes lighthearted). The tradition of showcasing technology on prototypes is as old as concept cars themselves. The first concept car was General Motors’ 1938 Buick Y-Job, which had some technology that was 25 to 30 years ahead of its time. The car featured such milestones as an early use of retractable headlights.

However, even if a concept car becomes a production model, the show car will more often than not feature glitzy technology that doesn’t go into the mass-produced version. This makes sense. Auto shows are times to bask in the glories of modern technology and to take a look at where automotive

Ford Shelby GR-1 Chrysler 4-12 HaitiHerald cover.indd 21

5/3/2005, 4:55:07 PM

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