Airbus Evacuation

Here’s a video of the test-evacuation done on the Airbus 380, currently the largest airliner in the world. At about 50% bigger than the rival Boeing 747, the aircraft can house up to 853 passengers in the full economy class configuration spread over the plane’s two decks. And since it’s a whole lot bigger, they needed to test the evacuation as per safety regulations. Some of the conditions to meet are:

– Only half of the 16 exits would be opened. The other half are considered “blocked”, and cannot be used. Neither the crew nor the passengers know beforehand which exits are blocked.
– Out of the participants, 35% must be over 50. A minimum of 40% must be female, and 15% are female and over 50.
– Happens in darkness. Only the emergency lights are on.

So 873 (including crew) people have to be evacuated in they need to get out in no more than 90 seconds, including the time required to deploy the inflatable slides. They did it in 77 seconds. From the video, the participants seemed to be rather calm, and knew what to expect/do. Maybe they’ve got the staff and families to participate, or maybe there are rehearsals (?). Maybe all those over 50 are aged 51, and are Boston marathon participants.


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