If you’re travelling on September 5 from Edinburgh, Prestwick, Birmingham or Belfast, watch out for the A380 superjumbo as it stages a flyby to mark Airbus’s 40th anniversary.
It will be the first time that an Airbus A380 has visited Scotland and Northern Ireland. The plane will not land, but will perform an “approach-and-go manoeuvre”, which means it will come in as it would to land, but will depart again before actually touching down.
The schedule for the flyovers will see the test aircraft – sporting an Airbus livery – visit Edinburgh airport at 1340, followed by Prestwick at 1400, Belfast City at 1440, with a final flyover at Birmingham International airport at 1540.
The plane will also visit the Airbus facility in Broughton, where Airbus employees will be celebrating the company’s founding 40 years ago, and the Northern Ireland International Air Show at Port Rush.
The only passenger on the aircraft will be a teddy bear called “Amy Bear”, named after aviation pioneer Amy Johnson, which will later be auctioned off to raise money for charity Aviation Without Borders.
The event follows the announcement by Emirates that it will serve Birmingham airport with one of its A380s on September 9, to mark the airport’s 70th anniversary (see online news July 15).
Birmingham-born Jeremy Cieslek, vice president and plant manager for Airbus in the UK commented: “I hope the people of Birmingham are as proud as I am of the A380. It is the flagship of the 21st century and sets new standards in eco-efficient aviation. And every one of them is flying with wings designed and manufactured in the UK.”
Airbus in the UK is the home of the International Centre of Excellence for Wing and Pylon within Airbus. The company has 10,500 employees in the UK at its facilities in Filton, near Bristol, and Broughton in North Wales, who are responsible for designing, integrating and manufacturing the wings, fuel systems and landing gear for Airbus aircraft.
Some 18 A380 aircraft have been delivered to Emirates, Qantas and Singapore Airlines, with Air France set to fly its first in November (see online news July 30). The current fleet has flown more than 6,450 commercial flights, carrying more than 2.5 million passengers.
Report by Sara Turner