Airbus A380-800

26 03 2009

The flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles was on a new Airbus A380. Woohoo! Man, is that plane HUGE!!! When we were taxiing out at Melbourne, the windows of the upper deck were level with the tail exhaust of a 747…

In his welcome, the Captain said it would be quiet — he explained that this new aircraft had lots of extra soundproofing and that it flew higher than 747s. He also said that some 560 tonnes of weight had to be lifted off the ground!

How well did this new beast measure up? Well, the take-off was MUCH quieter — there was very little rattling and shaking that typically happens on a 747. Though we didn’t seem to be doing a great speed taxiing down the runway… I wondered if this beast could get into the air, but it did, though I suspect that it had to use the entire length of the runway to do so!

We took off 40 minutes late — we were told we were waiting for some passengers, so perhaps someone was held up on a late connection.

Dinner was fillet steak, green beans, layered creamy potatoes — like last night’s meal coming over from Perth but WAY more palatable (I wrote earlier about that horrible meal on the Perth to Melbourne flight). Voyager Estate Shiraz.

As of now, I’ve officially given up on ever trying to sleep on a plane. This time I tried a hypnotic suggestion MP3 — it’s meant to drop you into a deep state in the 15 minutes. I listened to it 6+ times in a row. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. No sleep. This plane even has a fully flat bed — that didn’t work either. I can usually get to sleep easily any other place — but not on planes. I think it’s the continually drumming/humming noise and the echoes of people walking up and down the aisles all night, and the kids in front of me begin wide awake and chatty with their parents, and the air conditioning, and who knows what else. Even with ear plugs in and noise cancelling headphones on, I STILL can’t sleep. I’ve tried doctor-prescribed sleeping pills previously — they didn’t work either. So I’ve now given up. I’ll just have to learn to occupy myself for the 13+ hours flight time.

So I watched a couple of films: Slumdog Millionaire — parts of it were heartbreaking but the human spirit is an amazing thing and really well highlighted in this movie; I really enjoyed it. And Vicki Christina Barcelona — I watched this ‘cos it was nominated for an Oscar. But I really didn’t see the point of it. I did like the ‘Dick and Jane’ style narration though!

I also read three online books (one on CSS and IE8, a Q&A one on Seth Godin’s Tribes concept, and most of another on web design), and watched a heartwarming episode of The Secret Millionaire, on a lady called Gill Fielding.


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