The other night I watched a documentary about the Airbus A380. When I was little I wanted to be an airline pilot. I'm not sure how I knew since I didn't go on a plane for the first time until I was 15, though I have made up for it since. Anyway, being a bit of a sad secret plane-spotter I enjoyed this look into the future of aviation. One bit did amaze me and that was the aircraft evacuation test. Apparently commercial aircraft only receive a license to fly if they can prove they can do an emergency evacuation in under 90 seconds. Airbus went Hamburg and took just under 900 volunteers - they were all put in the plane, the lights were turned off, obstacles and debris were placed in the aisles, 4 of the 8 doors were sealed shut and they were not told when the test would begin. They had to evacuate 900 people and all crew through 4 doors, my heart sank - I was never going to get a go on the A380 because it didn't stand a chance of passing this test! They showed the whole test filmed on infra-red camera and as all 900+ stood uninjured on the tarmac 78 seconds later, I sat in my seat totally dumbfounded.
Cool! Wonder where I'll fly to one day in that big bird :-)