Airbus Experience Center

Lucy Harris

From Concept to Model to Aircraft: The Airbus Experience

Today we toured the Airbus Experience Center, located in the old Evening Star newspaper building. I was not quite sure what to expect, since I was not very familiar with the work that Airbus does. Nevertheless, I was still eager and curious about what the visit would have in store for us.

As we entered the lobby of the Airbus Experience Center, we saw a display of a few aircraft models. Most were about two and a half feet from nose to tail, with a wingspan of maybe three feet. Although these models are much smaller than the actual aircrafts, everything is exactly to scale. My favorite model is a private jet made by Airbus. Half of the model jet is open so that you can see the seats, tables, couches, bathroom—and even a bedroom!—in the cabin. The chairs are adorned with miniature pillows, and on the tables are miniature foods, silverware, and computers. 

Our guide Désirée began our tour with a quick overview of Airbus. She explained that they build and design all sorts of aircraft and work with NASA and other government agencies on various projects. One of their designs that I found interesting is for a hydrogen-powered aircraft. It is still just a concept, and hasn’t yet been built to scale, but it was still very interesting to see the model of it, and it was interesting to think about the innovative ideas they have for the future.

Top Gun Score
Nash Wilson

Flying a Fighter Jet Over San Francisco

The Airbus tour was quite interesting. Our hosts began our tour by offering us refreshments and showing us a number of cool model planes. One of my favorite models was the Airbus Zephyr, which has an eighty-two foot wingspan but only weighs 150 lbs. It flies in the stratosphere above the Andes Mountains for sixty-four days at a time, taking high quality pictures.

By far, my favorite part of the Airbus tour was the flight simulator. The first plane we flew was the Wright Brothers’ first successful plane, which only managed to fly about four or five feet off the ground. Several of us then took turns landing a passenger plane on a runway. When it was my turn, I flew an awesome black fighter over the beaches of San Francisco. Surprisingly, it seemed to be the easiest plane to fly of those we tested. I liked that the controls inside the jet directed me exactly how to fly by indicating where to point the nose, whether the engines were overheating, and what the G-forces were. – Nash Wilson