Ville de Bordeaux

Monday, 14th April 2008 by

Ville de Bordeaux is a carrier vessel that has been specially designed to transport various pieces of the Airbus A380 around the globe.

Given that the A380 is the largest passenger airliner in the world, it’s no surprise that the ship which carries it has its own world record (although it’s not as exciting) – Ville de Bordeaux has the largest ever watertight stern door on a ro-ro1 vessel!

Collecting pieces from manufacturing sites in Germany, Spain and Wales, Ville de Bordeaux can be seen here docked at Bordeaux’s Pauillac terminal, where she drops off the various plane parts. Look closely and you’ll see the cargo door is open, and an aircraft fuselage has been rolled across the pontoon and transferred onto a barge.

This is actually one of two specially built semi-submersible barges which collect the cargo before heading south down the river to Langon, where the aircraft is unloaded for road-transport to Toulouse for final assembly (where, as previously posted, you can see the finished product).

You can follow the full story of A380 transport on the Google Earth Community. There’s also ground level pictures of Ville de Bordeaux on Flickr or see where she is right now with Vessel Tracker.

Thanks to Rene73.

  1. ro-ro stands for “roll-on, roll-off”, meaning the cargo is rolled onto the ship rather than craned (which is a lo-lo vessel: load on, load off).