During its last pre-delivery flight, the last Airbus A380 superjumbo jet ever to be produced left a message in the sky which was caught by FlightRadar24, and likely to be remembered by the fans of the massive aircraft.
It might seem ages ago that airlines packed their aircraft to the brim while ferrying passengers across the globe. The pandemic has changed the way we travel for most of us. The last-minute dash to the airport is impossible now due to the requirement of mandatory RT-PCR tests, but just in case you had to, the A380 was a carrier you could rely on to have plenty of space.
The aircraft that first took flight in 2005 was the result of over a decade's hard work and planning. The largest-ever passenger aircraft, the A380 offered approximately 6,000 square feet (550 sq m) of usable floor space with 50 percent lesser cabin noise, larger windows, and the luxury of bigger overhead bins that even offered two feet (60 cm) more headroom than Boeing's 747.
According to a CNN report, the assembly of this superjumbo aircraft involved the collaboration of 1,500 companies in manufacturing various components. Each aircraft was assembled by putting together a whopping four million parts that were sourced from no less than 30 countries. The last convoy of these part being brought to the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in France saw hundreds of people turning out to catch the last glimpse of these events that were commonplace while the production lasted.
The final testing and livery outfit is done at Airbus' facility in Hamburg where it last took off for the final pre-delivery flight. Flying over northeast Germany, the pilots took a special route marking a heart in the sky that could only be spotted by a flight tracker system. Nevertheless, the aircraft does hold a special place in many people's hearts. The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to Emirates later this month.
Emirates, a great admirer of the aircraft and the largest operator by fleet size, alone accounted for little over half of Airbus' A380 orders. While Airbus proposed a series of upgrades to the A380, they never came to fruition and the airline finally moved to the Airbus' A350 aircraft, sounding the death knell for the A380.