Who said flying an extended airliner test flight is boring?
On December 13, 2017 an Airbus A380 testpilot did some pretty cool stuff in the sky by ‘drawing’ a giant Christmas Tree on a flightpath over Germany and Denmark during a testflight of the Airbus A380, soon to be flown by Emirates, the carrier from Dubai.
Video produced by Jerry Taha Productions showing the outline of the flightpath, shared by Flightradar24.
Creating the Christmas tree in the sky
The A380 took off from Hamburg Airport in Germany at 11:45 am local time to do the 5 hour test flight and arrived back into the same airport at 5:07 pm. The outline of the flightpath at 41,000 ft was shared by Flightradar24, a real time air traffic tracking site. The tree was rendered in several colors, reflecting the A380’s varying altitudes.The tree, complete with decorations, stretched for hundreds of miles from Hamburg to Stuttgart in the south, where the trunk of the tree was formed. After the tree was finished, the A380 headed towards northern Denmark to create the Christmas tree top, before returning to Hamburg Airport in Germany. It was almost perfect, except for that one odd round branch on the left side of the tree.
Airbus’ test flights
An Airbus spokesperson explained it was a normal internal test flight, before the delivery of a new aircraft, adding: “There are hundreds of these flights every year. They take off and land at the Airbus Airport in Hamburg”, but the routing of these flights are flexible. Thanks to the co-operation of the air traffic controllers of Eurocontrol and DFS, it was possible to fly that Christmas tree flight path. “It was the idea of test pilots and engineers; an Airbus greeting to all aviation fans during this Christmas season.
More Family Friendly Than The U.S. Navy drawing over Washington State
The crew of this A380 test flight flew a more family-friendly piece of aircraft art than the recent ‘unauthorized’ art by a U.S. Navy E/A-18 Growler. The Growler crew created a giant phalic symbol in the sky over Okanogan County in Washington in November, using the condensed air trail from its exhaust. Pictures of the giant image in the sky immediately went viral on social media.
Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker, the commander of naval air forces, said in a statement: “Sophomoric and immature antics of a sexual nature have no place in naval aviation today.”