Before the Airbus A380 could ever carry anyone who had paid one rotten cent for the flight, the company that made it had to prove people could get off of it. And in a hurry, if need be. So it loaded it up to the gills with people, and then screamed at them all to get off. Which looks crazy.
A double-decker Airbus A380 can carry 853 people in an all-economy class configuration. And while that's probably a bit unlikely, judging by the desire for airlines to put ever-increasing amounts of opulence into their A380 first class decor, to get the plane flying for customers it needed to be certified for all eventualities.
The minimum requirement of the test entailed getting only 650 passengers out the door, but Airbus decided to go the whole hog and load up the plane to the maximum. Which then meant getting 873 people (all those passengers, plus the crew) out the doors in an emergency situation. Since a plane could crash and catch fire, all the passengers needed to be out in 90 seconds. And since emergency situations aren't always so cut and dry, there were some surprises thrown in as well for everyone onboard, according to the video description:
- Lights will be out in cabin
- Half of exits will be closed
- Drill must feature 40% women, 35% people over 50
- Passengers will not be told which exits are in use
* Passengers must wear their seat belts
The test didn't go off completely without a hitch, as one of the passengers broke a leg and there were some minor injuries, but if this was a real emergency, that wouldn't be the worst report card in the world.
The end result is a wonder of logistics, and a wild video.