Airbus A380 Lands at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Airbus A380 and United Airlines Boeing 737 side profile comparison

Airbus A380 and United Airlines Boeing 737
A United Airlines 737 passes in front of an Airbus A380 parked at O’Hare Tuesday afternoon.

An Airbus A380 “the world’s biggest jet” brought hundreds of onlookers out to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport even though no accommodations for visitors were provided by the airport or the City of Chicago. The 550-seat jet airplane weighing 600 tons landed on runway 4R at 12:34 p.m. Tuesday afternoon — a little ahead of schedule. People were waiting by Irving Park Road and York Road hoping to be lucky enough to get a good photograph or video clip with their cameras. Many expected the plane would land on runway 14R because that runway is the longest and widest runway at O’Hare. The winds were from the east and planes were landing on 9L, 9R and 4R, as expected since aircraft usually land somewhat into a headwind. Airplanes were also taking off on runway 32L, which shares the same path, just opposite direction, as runway 14R. The Irving Park Road onlookers were the lucky visitors that watched the plane silently float into Chicago. Surprisingly runway 4R is the third shortest runway at O’Hare.

Several news helicopters were hovering on the southeast side of the airport where runway 4R runs along the border by Irving Park Road and Mannheim Road [MAP/SAT]. Those helicopters had a bird’s eye view of the A380’s landing. Channel 7 even rented a rooftop of a building on the airport property to get a great view.

After landing on runway 4R, the Airbus A380, the largest commercial jet in the world, parked near Old Cargo Road, about 800 feet south of the intersection of Old Cargo Road and Spine Road [MAP/SAT] on airport property. Smaller planes passed the Airbus as they taxied off of runway 4R. That’s when viewers were impressed by the size of the airplane.

Airbus A380 got plenty of media attention, as shown here with CBS 2 Chicago and CLTV in the foreground.

The Airbus A380 is expected to depart Tuesday night. Singapore Airlines is due to take the first delivery of the Airbus A380 in October 2007. Emirates is the number one buyer. UPS, the only U.S. buyer for now, is the only customer for the cargo-carrying version and UPS has expressed its dissatisfaction over delays in production. On March 2, 2007 UPS announced its intent to cancel later this year an order for 10 Airbus A380 freighters. The final cancellation decision will be formally presented to Airbus on the first date specified under an agreement reached last week that gives either party the right to terminate the order, according to a UPS press release.

Logos displayed on the fuselage of the Airbus A380.

The Airbus A380 will be the largest commercial jetliner in history when it is placed in service. The double-deck jetliner is nicknamed the SuperJumbo or Super Jumbo Jet.

See Airbus A380 video clips at O’Hare International Airport (from March 20, 2007).