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Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Monday, July 30, 2012

That giant 538 passenger airplane

I first realized that there are many aircraft fans after I wrote about traveling aboard the Airbus 380 from Washington Dulles Airport to Paris in May. The huge double level airship was unlike anything I'd ever flown before. From my seat over the wing  the wingspan looked as long as a football field. But the flight  was comfortable and shaved about a half hour off the time. Its 25-member flight crew looked like a field trip as they filed aboard.
.Lots of people must have read my blog at because  hardly a day has passed since then that someone hasn't mentioned it or emailed me.
My own nephew visited Airbus City near Toulouse, birthplace of the Concorde, and now home to the A380 assembly lines. He was among the 120,000 people who visit the factory in the south of France each year to get a behind-the-scenes look at the technicians and engineers busy at work on the largest aircraft ever constructed. It's a realm of huge white hangars, giant fuselages and landing gears, design labs and more. After Sept. 2 the Heritage Tour, which includes a Concorde and a Caravelle, will be discontinued while a new museum is completed. Called Aeroscopia,  it is scheduled to open in 2014. Those who visit now get a choice of several tours including one that gives a chance to walk aboard a mockup A380 and provides a bird's eye view of the entire 125-acre site. Tours are priced differently, depending on what you choose, and reservations are required. 
Click English at the top right hand corner of its website at www.manatour to see how the future is playing out.

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