Tim Foolery

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Olympics & More: Airbus Factorie Tour

We chose Toulouse as a vacation destination only because of the Airbus Industrie Tour.  A few weeks prior we visited Boeing and took a tour of their Everett location and saw several 787s in various states of completion.  After this, I was very excited to see the Airbus A380 being assembled.
The Airbus Tour was quite disappointing though. Boeing did such a better job.  Like Boeing, Airbus wouldn’t allow us to bring cameras on the tour, so I was only able to get his one picture of an A380. The geography of the area made it almost impossible to get a good picture. In Everett we could get some great pictures from the observation deck — there was no observation deck in Toulouse.

We started off by entering an area where we were to watch a video of the history of Airbus — unfortunately the video wasn’t working. Kind of reminds me of several flights on United’s A320s when I was schlepping back and forth to Oregon – hours on a plane with no movie.  Not a great start to the tour.

The tour itself was in English, but several of the people didn’t speak English, so their friends would translate from English to German or Russian — and our guide would wait for them to finish. I just felt like we didn’t get the full tour.  Perhaps visiting during summer holiday month wasn’t the best option, but I was disappointed.

One key fact we learned on the tour is that Airbus is producing (at that point) three A380s per month and by the end of the year they will be producing up to four — Boeing on the other hand will be releasing more than ten 787s each month by the end of 2012.

The 787 just seems sexier than the A380.  I’ve never flown on either, but I hear fantastic things about both planes — both are really game changers, I understand.

Have you taken both the Boeing and Airbus Tours? Which did you like better? Did you get a shortened tour in Toulouse, like we did?  Which of the planes do you find to be sexier?

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