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  Biggest aircraft model-world record set by Airbus A380 model
-- The largest model of a commercial aircraft ever built is a 79ft long scale model of the Airbus A380 superjumbo, constructed on the entrance road to London Heathrow Airport.

  Photo:Despite being only a third of the size of the real aircraft, the model still measures 24 metres long with wingspan of 26 metres./ AP     (enlarge photo) 

    Emirates Airline president Tim Clark said: "We expect the model to become strongly associated with Heathrow and a striking icon for many millions of air travellers." Emirates will next week receive its first A380 superjumbo - one of 58 it has ordered from Airbus.

   Built by California-based Penwal Industries, the model 24m long with a wingspan of 26m – a one-third scale replica- 3ft 4in wider than a real Concorde, setting the world record for the Biggest aircraft model.

   The prime section of advertising real-estate, located north of the tunnel under Heathrow’s runway 09L/27R, was acquired by Emirates in April 2007. British Airways had held the site for 16 years and had installed a scale model of a BAC-Aerospatiale Concorde at the entrance to Heathrow.

     More than 25 million travellers pass the roundabout on the approach to the Heathrow terminals each year, making it one of the advertising world's most valuable properties.

   “While the previous Concorde model represented the past, our A380 represents the future – and it is a future of cleaner, quieter aircraft,” says Clark.

  The replica A380, in the Emirates colours, will be more than twice the size of the Concorde model, which was based at Heathrow for 16 years until March 2007, when British Airways ended its association with the site. The Concorde model has now been moved to the Brooklands Aviation Museum in Surrey.

  Los Angeles-based model specialist Penwal reproduced the A380 after close liaison with Emirates and Airbus in Toulouse to ensure exact specifications. It took five months to create the array of parts needed ahead of its arrival in London.

  The model is built from glass-reinforced plastic covering a steel frame. It was flown from Ontario in California to Heathrow on 5 July by a chartered Antonov An-124, operated by Russian carrier Polet. Once in London a mechanical ramp, brought in specially from Germany, was used to unload the 10 components.

  The world's leading aviation museum, The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, has stated it is the largest known aircraft model in existence   

  Emirates has so far placed orders for 58 of the superjumbos, each of which takes six months to construct and has a price-tag of about $315 million (£158 million).

  Airbus chief operating officer for customers John Leahy said: “It is fitting that the world’s largest commercial aircraft is replicated by what we believe is the world’s biggest aircraft model at the world’s busiest international airport.”

  Model facts:
  Weighs more than 45 tonnes
  Wingspan of 26 metres and a length of 24 metres
  Same size as a real Boeing 737
  Exact 1:3 scale of the real A380, the world's largest airliner   More than twice the size of the roundabout's previous Concorde   model
  Made of glass-reinforced plastic over a steel frame
  Foundations required 600 tonnes of concrete.   
  Largest passenger plane-world record set by Airbus A380

  Thursday, July 24, 2008

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