But Don't Rush To The Window

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If all goes according to plan, the Airbus A380 will touch down on North American soil for the first time this morning but planespotters bent on sneaking a peek at the behemoth are warned to pack a pair of electric socks. The double-decker airliner is scheduled to land in Iqaluit, in the northern Canadian territory of Nunavut at about 9 a.m. EST for a week of cold-weather certification work. Iqaluit Airport Manager John Graham told AVweb that everything's in place for the historic visit, except perhaps the reason for it. "We wish it was colder," he said. Like most of North America, Iqaluit is experiencing a warmer than average winter, but warmth is a relative thing. For the past week, the temperature's been a balmy (by Nunavut standards) 10 F. For the testing, Airbus would like 25 to 30. If you've never heard of Iqualuit or Nunavut, don't feel geographically challenged (even though it occupies more than 10 percent of North America's land mass). Until 1999, it was part of the Northwest Territories and Iqaluit went by the name of Frobisher Bay. The territory, about four times the size of Texas, has only about 30,000 permanent residents and Iqaluit, its capital, is home to about 6,500. It's about 1,500 miles north of Toronto.