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Merkel wants old East German plane back

The Local · 29 Aug 2011, 15:01

Published: 29 Aug 2011 15:01 GMT+02:00

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Supposed to be Germany's answer to America's Air Force One, the new plane started to annoy Merkel after experiencing a number of technical problems, news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Monday.

Merkel has now ordered the Defence Ministry to take the plane away and make a number of improvements.

The government fleet has suffered a series of problems in recent years – including overheated engines and a recent flat tyre in France – occasionally making the chancellor late for summits and official appearances.

She is also apparently unhappy with the fact that the new plane, named “Konrad Adenauer” after Germany’s first post-war chancellor, is too big to land in some of the world’s airports.

The Airbus A340 has a range of 13,500 kilometres, which means it can fly non-stop from Berlin to Rio or Beijing, but many international airports don’t have a runway long enough to accommodate it.

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Now the Defence Ministry says Merkel wants to switch to the older government plane, which is an A310 inherited from the now defunct communist East Germany in 1990.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:19 August 29, 2011 by _Gonzo_
well if she doesn't want the new one then I'll take it!
15:20 August 29, 2011 by The-ex-pat
Some one it talking out of their rectal cavity on this one. How small an airport does she want to fly in and out of. Even Paderborn in the middle of nowhere, single runway airport can handle an A340 and does from time to time too........

There are other reasons here that are at work, not just size and a flat tyre.........................Sorry, did I understand she wants to replace the aircraft because it got a flat tyre........... LMAO whist laying on the floor clutching my sides with tears running down my cheeks......................
15:49 August 29, 2011 by freechoice
Flying an old plane is unlike driving an old car. She should order a new Airbus 320 instead of that old junk A-310, which will fall apart easily when doing some aggressive maneuvers over Afganistan or Iran to avoid those pesky Stinger missiles.
16:24 August 29, 2011 by twisted
I don't like that plane...get me another, oh, and use taxpayer money while you are at it....oh, and get it repaired, revamped and refurnished....money is no object...just do it.. After all, I am the boss !!!!!
16:48 August 29, 2011 by bwjijsdtd
Well, lets see ... she can take taxi .... a streetcar .... or the Bahn .... or better yet, stay home ...
16:50 August 29, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Ah. yes. A PERFECT day as Chancellor

Stockpile some canned goods

Fantasize about the 'Good Old' days

Eat some Solyanka and and letcho

Fly around in an A-310 to all the Socialist Republics of Europe

oh, what it means to be Center-Right in Germany. Makes me wonder who is in the center? A Chinese guy named Mao?
17:29 August 29, 2011 by iammucow
@The-ex-pat, the recommended length of runway required for an A340 is about 3,000m at maximum weight. Paderborn's runway is only 2,180m. I don't doubt that an A340 can land at Paderborn, but it's probably risky. Most international airports can handle an A340, but regional airports wouldn't necessarily be able to. From what I can tell, Dublin's airport is too small for an A340.

In any case, the article doesn't really explain very well what's the plan or even what the technical problems are. From what it sounds like to me is that Merkel wants to switch to another plane for awhile so that they have an opportunity to fix it. The old East German plane is an option because they happen to already have it. Seems simple enough. Certainly better than flying in a defective plane or leasing a new one.
18:07 August 29, 2011 by raandy
she should buy Gadaffi's air bus 330 , comes with a hot tub and leather and candy all around, and it could be bought from the rebels at a basement price, wiin win
19:51 August 29, 2011 by nemo999
Given where the majority of the various locations that Chancellor's official travel to, it makes much more sense, and cents to use the the A-310 versus A-340, but A-320 might be even a better fit for flights in Europe. Operating cost for the A-320 would be even lower than.
19:54 August 29, 2011 by The-ex-pat
@17:29 August 29, 2011 by iammucow

The definition of "risky" is one of perspective?

Google "Paderborn A340" followed by "Dubin A340".......................I would post links, but they get rejected as spam.

The question has to arise why is her A340 any less reliable than the A340's that are fly thousands of holiday makers around the world. The answer is in the question. Aircraft are designed to fly, not sit on a the ground. Part of my job is to do anti deterioration checks on long term stored aircraft. You would not believe what goes wrong when an aircraft just sits on the ramp for weeks or months and does not fly. The Air Bus for example has to fly every 2 months or so when being stored. Just a touch and go, but you would be surprised how much of a headache one flight can be, throwing up snags to keep you going for days. Merkel is in a Catch 22, fly it and she gets accused of burning tax payers money and pumping death into the sky's, not fly it and get criticised for complaining that the aircraft is no good and she needs another one. It is false economy not to fly the aircraft. The old A310 would have been just the same being flown seldom, except, the DDR would never have told you!!! However, an A340, why does she need such a large Air Frau One?
20:16 August 29, 2011 by Bigfoot76
@raandy Angela Merkel could not possibly accept flying in Gaddafi's plane, all the provocative photos of Condoleeza Rice hanging about would surely draw up jealousy issues that would affect her performance.
20:21 August 29, 2011 by catjones
This is another example of lack of foresight. She already had a Thai jet and then let it go.
02:49 August 30, 2011 by MonkeyMania
Here, I got a plane for her. http://www.thelocal.de/society/20110829-37245.html

Bon Voyage!
14:31 August 30, 2011 by moistvelvet
The complaint is that the A340 is too big to land on some of the airports she travels to, well perhaps the complaint is really that she isn't considered a big enough cheese on the world stage so she can dictate which airport she will land at, Air Force One doesn't have this problem.
12:36 August 31, 2011 by ilyushenko
I'd get rid of them both and buy a little old Fokker instead.
00:17 September 1, 2011 by MonkeyMania
Can she not use skype and just video conference with the others and save tax money?
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