Thursday, October 25, 2007
As Time Flies
Wow! Finally, after 18 months overdue, Singapore Airlines or SIA has made another first in history to fly the A380 superjumbo airplane this morning at 8:15am from Changi International Airport on a 7.5 hours journey to Sydney, Australia.
Another World's First...
Instead of packing it in with 800-odd passengers that the double decked plane can accommodate, SIA has configured it to be 399 seats for economy class, 60 for business and 12 for KrisFlyer first class suites.
This humongous flying object is like a block of flats with wings! Why? Simply because typically that is how many residents may reside in one block of flat or apartment of 13 storeys here.. about 800. Remarkable!
Fantastic, unquenchable human desire to build bigger and better creations, God willing. Kudos to SIA for making another history's first with this commercial flight.
Since its online bidding for tickets for its maiden flight started, the highest bidder was for a 1A seat on the airplane suite room for a whopping US$100,000.00, paid by a Brit.
The cheapest ticket price was at US$560.00 on an economy class. All for the win/win/win situation for the passenger to mark their names in history, SIA for scoring the world's first and the charities that benefit from the online biddings.
How Big Can It Get?
I missed seeing the real A380 when it first came here for test flights to appreciate how gigantic it actually is. Now, all I can think about is to take the opportunity to get a flight on this engineering marvel on our next vacation.
Well, for now I have to comprise vacationing in Sydney, Australia, but by next year the options are open when London and Japan routes become available once SIA receives their other 6 A380 airplanes.
This airplane triggers my childhood memory when I was living in a kampung or village called Lorong Ternak, which ended-up being neighbors with the then Paya Lebar Airport when the operations moved from the old and smaller Kallang Airport.
Since our village was actually situated very near the landing strip, the airplanes that passed by to land was awesomely huge and noisy. We could see the extended wheels on each airplane as passed us by.
Those Things From The Sky...
The worst thing for the villagers, but actually the most exciting thing to the children was when Concorde first landed in Singapore... and when it took off.
The loud and piercing roaring sound would vibrate everyone's wooden homes... knick-knacks would rattle and sometimes fall-off the display cabinets and racks.
Adults would rush to cover their little babies' ears to avoid frightening them until they got used to the loud and chest-vibrating sounds of airplanes passing by. Yes, we got trained from when we were babies and finally had no trouble sleeping at night, amid the busy air traffic on top of everybody's roofs.
Thank goodness, there was never any bad incidents with the planes. The only thick, black smoke we saw emanating from the airport grounds from time to time were the live fire-drills. That was exhilarating on its own.
That was one sleek airplane!
It even got me making lots of mini Concorde models from paper drawing blocks.
We would admire the many designs of the airlines that flew by and would get so excited guessing what airline it was when we spot a new airplane.
And Time Really Flies...
I remember the airplanes got larger and larger as we, the children grew bigger and bigger. So were the roaring sounds that the villagers got used to, got louder as the planes that flew by got larger.
We would hear stories in envy from those in the village that had taken a plane flight, as back then, only the rich and privileged ones could afford such luxury to go to foreign lands by air.
We would get to hold in awe, the engraved cutleries and other "souvenirs" they swiped-off the airplane as mementos... while looking at pictures framed and hung on the walls and albums of places one could only see on TV. Wow!
The ever bigger airplanes that flew over our village, wowed me every time as a child, yet this A380 superjumbo wowed me even more... now that I get to understand what it takes to build such a plane to begin appreciating such technical feat.
This A380 most probably is able to take in our whole village population to fly in one plane with a spaces to spare to accommodate the next village population... Jalan Ubi!