Meeting a behemoth on the way to Israel

I arrived in Israel yesterday to join the last excavation season at Khirbet Qeiyafa. I was originally not able to come but some things unexpectedly changed a few weeks ago. Today is Shabbat (Sabbath) which makes for a good day to explore a bit, get over jet lag, and take care of a few things before going to the dig.

One of my flights here connected in Zurich. I had my first encounter with the world’s largest passenger jet, the new Airbus A380. It caught my attention when it landed and taxied by the terminal. Have you read up on it? It’s simply huge. A double-decker airliner with more-than-average leg room and head room for passengers plus several other comfort-related improvements. The aircraft can hold anywhere from 555 to 853 passengers, depending on the model. Future variants may have seating for 900 passengers. At this time there are just over 100 of these on active duty in the world, none of them (yet) with U.S. airlines.


A Singapore Air A380 at the airport in Zurich, Switzerland. Notice the two full rows of windows. Each level is a complete flight deck with wider seats and more passenger room than most planes. The difference in size is noticeable when parked next to other long-haul jets. There’s big, and then there’s big. (Photo by Luke Chandler)

I certainly hope to ride in one someday, but confess being even more interested in flying on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It’s big, though not as huge as the A380. The Dreamliner doesn’t look that different on the outside but it’s much more innovative under the skin. You can click on the links above and learn more about both planes’ innovations, especially the ones improving passenger experience.

These two new planes reflect different approaches to ferrying passengers. The Airbus A380 is designed for flight models that ferry large numbers to a few hubs, and then to other destinations using smaller planes. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is designed for models that rely less on hubs in favor of more direct point-to-point flights. There is probably room in the market for both approaches.

For me, flying is usually an enjoyable experience. With the current drudges of extra security, higher fees, and fewer services, innovative aircraft like these help to keep things fresh. Now to find a way to actually fly on one of them…

Blogging will probably be sporadic for a few days as I finish up a large, important project. After that I should have more time to post on the trip. It’s going to be interesting! What will we find this year? More 3,000 year-old inscriptions?

About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister with the North Terrace Church of Christ and has participated in multiple archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke leads informative, meaningful tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
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1 Response to Meeting a behemoth on the way to Israel

  1. mariacmc says:

    The A380 IS huge! We’ve flown it a couple of times from Dubai to Jeddah, and it is an amazing plane! It’s almost like a village flying across the sky! We hope you have a great time in Israel!

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