How to fly the A380

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Derek Mayer
Posts: 236
Joined: 02 Jul 2009, 16:13

How to fly the A380

Post by Derek Mayer » 30 Jun 2010, 18:37

I'm only going to post this once, hopefully this will help those finding it hard to control the A380.


Performance figures:

Max operating speed: 340kts / M0.89
Max gear speed: 250kts / M0.55

Max flap speeds:

Code: Select all

Flaps   Speed (kt)
1       263
1+F     222
2       220
3       196
Full    182
Max takeoff weight (MTOW): 1,124,400 - 1,254,400 lbs (depending on variant)
Max landing weight (MLW): 862,010 - 868,620 lbs (depending on variant)
Range at maximum structural payload: 6,500nm
Range with zero payload: 9,500nm
Service ceiling: 43,000ft

Standard climb profile: 250kts / 320 kts / M0.85
Standard cruise speed: M0.85
Standard descent profile: M0.85 / 300 kts / 250 kts


*Approach speed, required landing distance, required take-off distance, and many other performance-related graphs are available in the "Airplane Performance" section of the following document: http://www.airbus.com/fileadmin/media_g ... 111101.pdf


Model specifics:

The flaps are selected through the 5 settings incrementally. Assuming you start at flaps 0, every time you hit F7 the flaps will go to the next setting on the chart.

The default load-out for all our A380 models is a 90% load (assuming a 471 seat configuration). Since FS always loads aircraft with 100% fuel by default, if you don't make adjustments in the fuel editor your aircraft WILL be overweight (and therefore won't fly too well..). The A380 cannot have 100% fuel when loaded with passengers. Depending on the variant, you'll probably have to reduce fuel to around 75-80% to get below MTOW, unless you reduce the passenger load in the payload editor instead. The default payload editor indicates an overweight condition with red letters on the main payload screen.


Takeoff:

The proper flap settings for takeoff are either:
1+F (use with a long runway, or with a light load)
2 (normal takeoff)
3 (short takeoff, use in case of a short runway)

Depending on weight and flap setting, your rotation speed (Vr) will be anywhere from 140 to 170 kts. While I can't give specific numbers for every possible situation, I can tell you that at MTOW with flaps 2, Vr will probably be around 155 kts or so.

If you're using the default 747 panel, it's important to note that you shouldn't push your throttles all the way up, as this will result in about 110% N1. Ideally, set the throttles to achieve anywhere from 90%-100% N1 as necessary.

Once airborne, continue rotation to approximately 15 degrees nose up, or as required to achieve a smooth acceleration towards 250kts. Flaps should only be retracted at 1000ft, and gradually if possible. Finally, be careful not to overspeed your flaps as you accelerate (refer to the chart above).


Climb:

Standard climb profile: 250kts / 320 kts / M0.85

Once you've reached 1000ft and begun the flap retraction, reduce engine N1 to around 90% for the first portion of the climb and leave it there. Excessive thrust is not required as the 380 has ample power at low altitudes. Activate the autopilot, and adjust the climb VS as required to hold 250 kts. This is important; large aircraft climb at relatively constant thrust settings, and vary their VS or pitch as necessary to maintain proper airspeed. You will notice that at 2000ft you'll likely need 4000fpm or more to maintain 250 kts, whereas at 10000ft that might drop to 3000fpm.

I don't recommend using the autothrottle at all during climb, unless ATC forces you to level off. The default autopilot can't climb with reference to IAS, therefore it ends up constantly adjusting your thrust to hold airspeed, when it really should be adjusting your VS. This isn't so much an issue at low altitudes, but when you get up high it causes problems for a lot of people.

Now, once you've reached 10000ft, it's time to accelerate to 320kts. Simply reduce VS to around 500fpm-1000fpm and watch the speed increase. Once you've got 320kts, increase VS as required to hold it (you'll probably need around 2500-3000fpm depending on your weight). As you climb higher, reduce VS as necessary to maintain 320kts. If you don't reduce VS as you climb, you'll see the speed start to bleed off (eventually resulting in a stall). It is acceptable to increase engine thrust to 95-98% N1 to aid climb performance, though you should never exceed 100% N1.

By the time you reach FL290, you've probably had to reduce VS to about 1000fpm. Now, start keeping an eye on your Mach speed. As you maintain 320kts in the climb, you'll notice the equivalent Mach speed will increase. Once it hits M0.85, it's time to forget about indicated airspeed (IAS) and instead focus on holding M0.85. The method is the same, simply adjust VS in the climb to hold M0.85. You'll notice as you climb higher, your IAS will start to drop off. This is normal at these altitudes, as long as you're holding M0.85 there's nothing to be worried about.

At these altitudes (above FL290), required VS will probably be around 600-1000fpm for the remainder of the climb, depending on weight of course.

It's important to note that at MTOW, the A380 normally tops out at FL330. As weight decreases however, you can make it progressively higher. You'd probably have to be almost empty to make it all the way to FL430.


Cruise:

Standard cruise speed: M0.85

I should think this is pretty straight-forward. Once level, enable the autothrottle and have it hold M0.85. You can now leave the autothrottle on until landing if you so desire.

It might be advantageous to step climb on long haul flights. Basically, if you levelled off at FL330 due to a heavy load, wait an hour or so in cruise to burn off fuel, and then try stepping up to FL350. Since you have less fuel aboard (and therefore weigh less), it's now possible to climb higher. Once at FL350, level off and wait some more before stepping up to FL370. Repeat as often as you need to. Airliners use this method regularly to take advantage of reduced fuel burn at high altitudes.


Descent:

Standard descent profile: M0.85 / 300 kts / 250 kts

Reserved.


Approach and landing:

Approach/landing speeds at full flaps vary from 125kts (at empty weight) to 145kts (at MLW). A graph is available in the PDF document linked to above.

Landings are performed at either Flaps full or Flaps 3. If using Flaps 3, you should probably increase the speeds referenced above by at least 5 kts. The best landing method is probably to approach at landing speed + 10kts. Once you cross the threshold and begin to flare, slowly reduce airspeed to achieve landing speed at touchdown.

If using the default passenger / payload setting, you'd probably need to be below 20% fuel to satisfy the MLW.


Final notes:

I hope that sheds some light on proper operating procedures. If you're having issues flying the A380, the culprit is most likely either taking off overweight or not using the correct climb profile. Please verify you've properly performed these steps before reporting handling issues.

On a final note, the real A380 automates most of the complicated climb process. If you don't want to be constantly changing the VS yourself, I suggest investing in a payware panel. I hear the PSS A340 panel works very well with our model, but I haven't heard anything about the Wilco A340 yet.


Thanks for reading,

Air Berlin

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by Air Berlin » 30 Jun 2010, 19:14

Thanks dude, I,ve just printed it out, to learn it in the subway at the way to school!

Tranceaddict
Posts: 255
Joined: 09 Jul 2009, 14:11

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by Tranceaddict » 01 Jul 2010, 02:57

I wish a lot more people read this

lordsniper
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Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 18:39

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by lordsniper » 01 Jul 2010, 11:16

Everything worked fine for me thanks Derek for the tutorial, the A/T and autopilot worked perfectly for me this time :)

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sknepper
Posts: 370
Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 19:46

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by sknepper » 01 Jul 2010, 19:39

That's a great help. Thanks allot for the link Derek. Now it's a question of RTFM, or, Read The Friendly Manual :)
Must say that after the flight from EGLL to Dubai at FL400, the A/P worked a dream.
Only little problem I had was with real-world weather I had a severe freak tail-wind over the Mediteranean that killed my airspeed to under 200kts. I killed the A/P and put her in a slight dive until the airspeed was back at 270kts and climbed back again. But hey, if I may say so myself, that's a logical reaction.

dotsalgon
Posts: 343
Joined: 07 May 2010, 22:23

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by dotsalgon » 01 Jul 2010, 21:32

Thnx for the guide Derek :D
I was familiar with it though..
I changed the panel I used on the first flight and I did a big flight from EDDF to OMDB with 130.000lb fuel first 2hours cruised at FL330 and then climbed to FL400. She did great :D No roller coster rides no nothing and an excellent landing in Dubai !!! :D Your A380 is the best ever!! Thank you so so much! :D

Cheers
Dot.

Air Berlin

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by Air Berlin » 02 Jul 2010, 09:56

hmm, but i don't know if it is good to go 3000 or 4000 ft/m ?? does it ends in a stall ??
i just go 2000 or 1500 ft/m ^^

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Tom Collins
Posts: 265
Joined: 11 Aug 2009, 12:09

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by Tom Collins » 02 Jul 2010, 09:58

Air Berlin wrote:hmm, but i don't know if it is good to go 3000 or 4000 ft/m ?? does it ends in a stall ??
i just go 2000 or 1500 ft/m ^^
Depends how much fuel / pax load you have on board. Make sure you're not over-fueled for the route you have. On a long haul flight though, your initial climb may well be closer to 2,000 / 2,500 fpm if you're heavily loaded.

Air Berlin

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by Air Berlin » 02 Jul 2010, 10:01

hmm, i always have 471/517 passagers and about 70% Fuel ^^ at landing i drop it to 15% for a quite soft landing

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Tom Collins
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Joined: 11 Aug 2009, 12:09

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by Tom Collins » 02 Jul 2010, 10:05

You shouldn't need to drop it if you're fueling it up to the correct load before departure.

Movieman162
Posts: 155
Joined: 18 Jan 2010, 18:59

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by Movieman162 » 02 Jul 2010, 12:56

Thankyou for this guide, i have recently got the hang of this beautiful aircraft but this guide made it all clear.

Typed from Project Airbus A380 at cruise 350 @ M0.85 bound for Singapore.

Simaerobatic
Posts: 19
Joined: 25 Jun 2010, 17:14

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by Simaerobatic » 02 Jul 2010, 13:20

Derek,
your flying guide is highly informative and very useful
I am really surprised how less fuel the A380 consumes on the route LOWW-EGLL which is approx 700nm (perfect for long distance flights) :D

BR
Thomas

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Elmar
Posts: 23
Joined: 30 Jun 2010, 17:17

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by Elmar » 09 Jul 2010, 19:16

Hey guys!

I want to thank you too Derek, the guide is very useful! Well the fuel consumption is really impressive. I flew a few days ago from Frankfurt/Main (EDDF) to Johannesburg Int (FAJS). Due to my calculations I would need 65% (incl. 14% reserves) for ~4850nm and the A380 had all reserves at landing. Well my calculation was: distance of flight divided by max. endurance times 100 + 15% reserves. For the max. range I took 9400nm - is this right?

Best regards!
Elmar

David Anderson
Posts: 41
Joined: 09 May 2010, 22:04

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by David Anderson » 18 Jul 2010, 10:07

Thanks Derek.

I've always wanted to cruise at .84+ with the A380, and just could never do it, so yes this guide helped!

I had a question though, for anybody willing to answer. Climbing higher = better fuel burn? How does this work? The higher you go, the thinner the air, the harder the engines have to work? Or is that not a factor. I certainly understand less air less drag. I watch the N1% like a hawk, and every time I climb higher and level off, the N1% has gone up as well. This means the engines are working harder, right? How does this yield better fuel burn?

Leveling off at FL330, N1% was 80.6%, over time, this number decreased (obviously because fuel is being burned=less weight). But when you climb, you've just put the N1% right back where it was at the beginning, if not higher. How does this make sense? I'm sure it's all complicated physics or something. That somehow, making the engines work harder at higher altitudes is better, but wow, that sure seems backwards.

Alternatively, I did WSSS-KLAX in POSKY's 777-300ER, and with those massive engines, I had to damn near idle the engines at FL370 to maintain .84 Now that's reduced fuel burn!

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AirNewZealand_A320
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Re: How to fly the A380

Post by AirNewZealand_A320 » 19 Jul 2010, 04:01

I just covered this...

Its because the Engines will put out more thrust due to the lower air density, but at the same time they are not being affected by any drag in climb , weather etc... this means they fly faster, maybe they dont burn less but the rate at which they do burn the fuel is better in the long run.

CaptainAA
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Joined: 15 Aug 2010, 05:57

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by CaptainAA » 31 Aug 2010, 05:07

Derek Mayer wrote:It's important to note that at MTOW, the A380 normally tops out at FL330. As weight decreases however, you can make it progressively higher. You'd probably have to be almost empty to make it all the way to FL430.
Hello Derek,

Thanks for the brilliant guide for all those who enjoy flying the new PA A380. I read what you said about super high altitudes. I run FSX (Default 747 Panel with this PA380) and usually do the ultra-long haul flights (14+ Hours) using FSPassengers and my cruise is usually at the high FL400-FL430 (The only way I get to fly 7500nm+). It doesn't take much to get up there with the exception that you do step climbs (This is my grey area because of fuel consumption and the balancing act that follows).

*Also, this is a simulator and everyone gets different results because of factors that sometimes make big differences. (Ex: Taxi time, Holding/Diversion fuel quantities, and the weather)*

*I am going to do a few more test flights (2= 15+ hrs; 2= 2.5+ hrs) and give you mates my results, thats including TOW, LW, etc.,*

PS: I have been using Wilco A380 V2. for the past year or so and I am really impressed with this model. The only thing that would make the PA380 the best out there would be a VC (Which I know is currently in the making) and a 2-D Panel to go along with it.

Air Berlin

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by Air Berlin » 08 Sep 2010, 18:14

i mentioned yesterday, that anybody or someone who has never played FS2004 or FSX can land the PA A380, my friend viseted me and wanted to play FS2004, so i gave him first the PA A319 Air Berlin livery to fly, i did tha takeoff made a turn then a ILS approach, turned the autopilot off and let him landing... he crashed about 30 times one was a stall over the runway at 80 feet...the weather was perfect. then i did the same with the PA A380, takeoff, turn, ILS frequency...
and at the 3rd trie he did it perfectly !! the 1st and second landings were little bit hard but acceptable. i use a force feedback joystick... and the FDE of this baby is perfect...i wondered that it worked so fine with the A380 and did the same with Posky 777, 747, 737 and PMDG MD11...and he crashed all of them, for some reason, he found it difficult to "handle" them. For me the PA A380 is also much easier to handle as any other plane i know, especially at bad weather and crosswinds...so it's a perfect plane for "beginners" ---sorry if this post doesn't fits here but i don't wanted to open a new thread :-(

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Alexis
Posts: 444
Joined: 02 Jul 2009, 02:03

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by Alexis » 08 Sep 2010, 20:15

Generally speaking, the 380 should handle quite well in RL too. Test pilots have said that its as easy to handle as the 330/340, something I'm not surprised with; after all, every control is linked to the FBW system, even nose wheel steering, plus it's been optimised based on the problems of its predecessors.

mikhail
Posts: 4
Joined: 02 Jan 2011, 03:48

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by mikhail » 02 Jan 2011, 04:07

hi guys....but no one has ever mentioned how to fly this gigantic bird using not only the FSX platform but also the popular FSpassenger.

i tried flying this bird in my FSX and i've read regarding some issues this bird has in fsx but so far it's doing fine with mine except that as soon as i get beyond 10,000 feet my passengers began to suffer from altitude sickness and be advised to descend and make an emergency landing resulting to cancellation of flight and destination and great loss of money and reputation for my company.

anyway what i would like to say is that it seems to me that the plane's cabin is not pressurized at all. did anyone encounter the same problem when flying with fspassengers?

mikhail :mrgreen:

alvinodegai
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Joined: 20 Dec 2011, 04:56

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by alvinodegai » 20 Dec 2011, 05:02

I am having issues with my landing, i am still using the default 747 2d panel, when i begin my decent and throttle down the engines never throttle down and just keeps going, i use the speed brakes and that does not help. Even when i manage to land it, the plane is going so fast that i overshoot the runway and these happens only with the a380, can someone help.

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Alexis
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Re: How to fly the A380

Post by Alexis » 20 Dec 2011, 13:22

Is Autothrottle disengaged when going into reverse thrust (F1 and then F2 to pull on the reversers)?

alvinodegai
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Re: How to fly the A380

Post by alvinodegai » 21 Dec 2011, 04:33

Yes autothrottle is disengaged when landing

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Alexis
Posts: 444
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Re: How to fly the A380

Post by Alexis » 21 Dec 2011, 12:57

I don't know then. If you're using the reversers, brakes, speedbrakes and all, I can't imagine what could be going wrong.

quentcor
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Joined: 13 Dec 2012, 16:43

Re: Engines & fuel Selectors at Startup

Post by quentcor » 13 Jan 2013, 09:12

Good day,

What settings are necessary to stop the engines from running and have the fuel selectors off when the A380 is loaded into the simulator? The aircraft reverts to cold dark cockpit status after loading, but the fuel selectors remain on along with the engine sound . Also, I have set the airbus auto throttle to 1 in the auto throttle config file, but it doesn't always work and I have to set the value to yes in the settings menu. Apart from these small matters, the A380 works perfectly in my setup. It's a pleasure to fly! :)

Regards,
Quentin

TheRedBaron
Posts: 185
Joined: 31 Aug 2012, 20:11

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by TheRedBaron » 13 Jan 2013, 21:09

IDK about the fuel selectors, but I have found that FSX glitches easily (LOL...like that is news at all). I have had engine sounds (not with this A380) get stuck in the completely wrong mode before, and I just press "Q" once to mute the sound and again to un-mute it. That has solved sound problems for me all the time.

SQ859
Posts: 2
Joined: 24 Feb 2013, 08:19

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by SQ859 » 14 Mar 2013, 12:40

Nice... :) But I am new to FSX so I don't get how to descent without nose down and land on the proper spot on the runway with the PA A380, I can land other small plane but I just don't how to land the PA A380... Hope you can help

GaryG
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Re: How to fly the A380

Post by GaryG » 14 Mar 2013, 19:38

Well, it takes practice....

markm24
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Re: How to fly the A380

Post by markm24 » 29 Jul 2013, 12:41

um i have doubt about the landing speed posted: 145kts? i tried landing my pa380 at 150kts. but its starts to stall few moments later. is this due to my full fuel onboard? i do no edit my fuel onboard when i fly...

GaryG
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Joined: 19 Jul 2009, 10:32

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by GaryG » 29 Jul 2013, 18:16

Yes, heavy fuel load leads to such situations

TheRedBaron
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Re: How to fly the A380

Post by TheRedBaron » 29 Jul 2013, 20:20

markm24 wrote:um i have doubt about the landing speed posted: 145kts? i tried landing my pa380 at 150kts. but its starts to stall few moments later. is this due to my full fuel onboard? i do no edit my fuel onboard when i fly...
You should not be landing with full fuel lol...that would exceed the MLW of the aircraft. Make sure you have the unlimited fuel option unclicked in FSX options (it is set to unlimited fuel by default...which might make landing an issue).

markm24
Posts: 84
Joined: 10 Jul 2013, 12:19

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by markm24 » 30 Jul 2013, 12:35

Oh I see! i always fly short distances e.g. Manchester to Heathrow because i focus on practicing visual approaches...

If you don't mind this question, how can i calculate the needed and sufficient fuel in flights?

TheRedBaron
Posts: 185
Joined: 31 Aug 2012, 20:11

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by TheRedBaron » 30 Jul 2013, 14:36

markm24 wrote:Oh I see! i always fly short distances e.g. Manchester to Heathrow because i focus on practicing visual approaches...

If you don't mind this question, how can i calculate the needed and sufficient fuel in flights?
So the FSX kneeboard is surprisingly useful...Take a look at it once you have created and filed an IFR plan, and you'll see the predicted fuel burn for each leg as well as the total fuel burn. I'd say it's safer to add some extra fuel (5-10%) to account for weather changes (headwinds mostly), traffic congestion, unforseen issues. The last flight I did was intercontinental from New York to Frankfurt, and I did end up burning more fuel than predicted because of headwinds.

markm24
Posts: 84
Joined: 10 Jul 2013, 12:19

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by markm24 » 12 Feb 2014, 13:19

Project Airbus Team! it's been two years since i first utilize your A380 in FSX. And yet again, thank you for this masterpiece :)

One question though, is there any way to reduce the intensity of this aircraft's landing and taxi lights? Because whenever i used this aircraft's landing and taxi lights, they are so intense that i cannot see many parts of the road (taxiway, runway etc.). Thanks for any reply!

Nigel
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Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 23:36

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by Nigel » 18 Nov 2014, 09:49

Could you please upload the PDF again - it's not available when you click the link.

Thanks.

baron210
Posts: 4
Joined: 16 Jan 2015, 13:27

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by baron210 » 17 Jan 2015, 19:32

Just wanted to say a massive "thanks"for this and the superb aircraft itself. I now need to learn how to retrieve a vasFMC plan (load up a pre saved flight plan) and also use the vasFMC effectively too. I am usually quite lazy, using FS navigator on autopilot flight plan from takeoff to touchdown, but it,s much nicer to fly a plan like the real flighcrew would do. Anyone know where I could find a vasFMC tutorial that covers flight plan loading too?

baron210
Posts: 4
Joined: 16 Jan 2015, 13:27

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by baron210 » 20 Jan 2015, 20:20

In reply to my last post, I have now figured out how to load a flight plan (using the ACARS) so that's fine, also had to upgrade the Airac flight database, now I just want to figure out how to link the autopilot in linked mode, so the plan can be flown when autopilot and auto throttle /fd is engaged. I use fs navigator with some older aircraft, and this flies pretty well up to auto landing too, but not with the A380. All in all, well done, such a lovely aircraft and VC too, loving getting to grips with vasFMC too. :geek: Here's a mouse moveable screen app you can scroll to compare how good a job PA have done on this remarkable plane. http://www.gillesvidal.com/blogpano/cockpit1.htm

Aibusilot
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Joined: 07 Apr 2017, 21:22

Re: How to fly the A380

Post by Aibusilot » 17 Apr 2017, 11:39

Why does my plane always go up and down after reaching the altitude i have set upped on the autopilot????

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