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Following an A380 through rural France - CNET

Following an A380 through rural France

In rural France about an hour outside the southwestern city of Toulouse is a large parking lot set between fields. Here is where a truck convoy carrying six pieces of a giant A380 airliner rest during the day as they drive from a port near Bordeaux to Airbus' Toulouse factory for final assembly.

To avoid fouling daytime traffic, the trucks hauling the wings, tailplane and three fuselage sections travel over the course of two nights on the 150-mile journey. And because the parts are so enormous (the tailplane is 45 feet high when resting on a trailer), the convoy must avoid overpasses and stick to country roads instead.

The twice-monthly convoys are a bizarre and strangely wonderful sight that the public is free to witness. But if you can't make it to France, keep clicking to ride along for a night with the Itinéraire à Grand Gabarit (in English, "oversize convoy route").

Photo by: Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The parking area, which Airbus...(continued)

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