If you sell a range of 4 different sorts of pens, you will be able to demonstrate their capabilities fairly easily. Pop them in your pocket and you can take them most anywhere to show off just how good they are at… at… well, at writing stuff.

It’s more difficult when you’re selling passenger aircraft, including the Big Bird itself, the A380. But you still need to show potential buyers what they are buying. So Airbus slipped their metaphorical pens in their metaphorical pockets and gave us this:

The modern Airbus family includes the A320neo, A330-200, A350-900 and A380 aircraft, all of which the pilots flung around the skies above Toulouse.

And the airborne shots are impressive, but I actually really enjoyed watching them on the runway. The A320neo isn’t actually small, but you wouldn’t believe that when you see it with its big brothers.

5½ minutes of impressive flying and plenty of informative commentary.  iLike.

Boxes ticked

Wait – could this be a timelapse [tick] video of an Emirates [tick] A380 [tick] being repainted?

Yep, and obviously, as with every A380-related thing, it comes with some ridiculous stats:

Seven coats of paint weighing 1,100 kilograms were applied on ‘Echo Delta Delta’, covering an area of 3,076 square meters. The entire exterior of the A380 including the fuselage, wings, engines as well as vertical and horizontal stabilizers received a makeover. The paint coats on the fuselage comprised of one layer each of a primer and sealer, followed by three coats of Brilliant White, which is the custom Emirates color, and then two layers of clear coat and decorative paints for the Emirates insignia and logo.

There’s a full description of the process here.


It’s a sad thing, but the lovely Airbus A380 can’t use Cape Town International Airport. Given that we can fill a couple of Emirates 777s and two BA 747s each day (plus Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Swissair, Singapore Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Air France and Qatar flights), there’s definitely passenger demand for big planes. It’s just that, apparently, the taxiing bits twixt the main runway and the building where the people get off aren’t wide enough… or something.

That’s not to say that A380s haven’t visited the skies above Cape Town. Lufthansa brought theirs down here in 2011 [photos] to publicise their flights to… er… Joburg. And BA followed suit 2½ years later to get some shots to let people know about their new A380 service to… er… also Joburg. They went all over the general Cape Town area in G-XLED, even “buzzing the tower” at CTIA, but they couldn’t land.

No such issues for G-XLEC and pilot Captain Dave Wallsworth, who I am now following on Twitter. He flew all the way from Singapore to London Heathrow yesterday and he took this shot on final approach to runway 27R at LHR.


It looks a bit like a videogame , doesn’t it? It’s probably more difficult than that though. Probably.
I’m not sure how much Captain Dave and his co-pilot actually have to do to get the plane safely down onto the ground by this point, but given that I haven’t heard anything about a massive crash at the London airport, I’m guessing that he was able to happily and safely snap this sort of thing without too much of an issue.

For the record, BA now have 11 A380s, the latest one having been delivered earlier this month.

None of them will be coming to Cape Town any time soon.

UPDATE: Or will they…?

Fullscreen capture 2016-02-16 122700 PM.bmp



Here’s a great photo of Emirates A6-EDW arriving at Manchester as EK17 yesterday – a flight I used several times last year. The A380 is such a loveable, huggable plane; full of soft curves. I’m posting this one with the flimsy excuse of it being for my son, who simply cannot get enough of them. The fact is, I quite like them too.


Not sure of the photographer, but I love the yellow landing lights framing the subject. Lovely.

And, should you want to feel nearer than you are, there’s a cropped close-up here. YOU CAN SEE THE PEOPLE IN THE LITTLE WINDOW ON THE FRONT! (Whatever the technical name for that is) (Windscreen? Like a car? Really?) OK then.


This is stunning.

Long-term readers of this blog will know my fondness for A380s (see my Lufthansa album and my BA post). They’re just so cuddlable and aeronautically impressive.
Other, more recent readers will have noted that I have done a lot of travelling to and from the UK over the last 12 months. All of those trips have been on Emirates, and they have not put a single foot wrong on any of the 28-odd flights I’ve done with them. I even enjoyed a spell in the A380 Business Class lounge on my last flight. Olives, bar snacks and Bloody Marys – a posh pub at 35,000 ft. A bizarre experience.
And then they released that Jennifer Aniston advert, but I still liked them.

But how amazing is this?

Here are a few numbers:

Cruising at just 4,000 feet (“just” for the plane, that’s pretty high for flying people) the trio flew in two holding patterns while a fourth object in the sky (the film crew in a helicopter) kept distance 1,000 feet above. The A380 couldn’t be more different from the jet wings worn by the pilots though. The Emirates craft pumps out 70,000 pounds of thrust per engine with a max speed of 490 knots, making the wearable-wing’s 88 pounds and 170 knots seem like a mild breeze in comparison.

It’s not an advert for Emirates per se, although it obviously incorporates quite a big bit of their hardware. Neither does it seem to be an ad for Dubai. In fact, I’m not exactly sure what it is an advert for. It might not even be an advert for anything. I’m almost getting the feeling that they just did it because they could for no actual monetary gain.
And that’s pretty cool.

Yes. More of this sort of thing please.