...Ginormous A380 Rolls Out, While (Much Smaller) Quest Logs Time

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In the world of big airplanes -- and we mean realllly big -- tomorrow in France, Airbus will roll out with great fanfare (5,000 guests are expected) its brand-new A380, the world's biggest airliner, with capacity for 550 to 1,000 passengers. The superjumbo so far has cost $12 billion to develop. Airbus has orders for 139 of the aircraft, which is expected to fly in March. A much more affordable and differently tasked contender, Quest Aircraft's new Kodiak STOL 10-place turboprop prototype, has completed 50 flights and 40 hours in its test regime, the company said last week. "Performance of the Kodiak in most areas has exceeded our projections," said Tom Hamilton, chief technical officer. The Idaho company plans to debut the Kodiak at the Alaska Airmen's Trade Show in Anchorage, Alaska, May 14-15. And another big aircraft took to the skies last week, when a Zeppelin NT, the biggest modern airship at 246 feet long, flew for 40 minutes over the western Japan city of Kobe.