The Emirates A380, the UAE airline’s flagship commercial aircraft, took part in an unprecedented flypast procession on November 18, kicking off the 2019 edition of the Dubai Airshow. Spectators saw a formation of three Chinook, three Black Hawk and three Apache helicopters, opening the way for the Emirates A380, closely followed by the UAE’s air display team, Al Fursan, set in an arrow formation. Al Fursan were closely trailed by an A330 MRTT aerial refuelling tanker aircraft, four F-16 Fighting Falcons, a Boeing C-17 and four Mirage 2000 single-engine jet fighters. All 27 aircraft flew past the Dubai World Centre (DWC) runway.
The Emirates A380 flying display aircraft was emblazoned with green livery representing Expo 2020’s ‘sustainability’ theme. The flypast was conducted at an altitude of 1,000ft (305m) with an airspeed of 250kts (463km/h). The seven Al Fursan jets produced their signature smoke trails in the colours of the UAE: red, black and green. Together, the flypast was a large and colourful start to the Dubai Airshow flying display programme, celebrating the UAE’s advancement in the areas of civil aviation and aerospace.
The Emirates A380 was flown by Captain Abbas Shaban and Captain Patrick De-Roeck, supported by First Officer Colin Campbell.
The Emirates A380 took off from the airline’s hub at Dubai International Airport (DXB) and established a holding pattern to the east of DWC before being joined by Al Fursan and the other aircraft finally making the flypast at exactly 14:00hrs Dubai time.
Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380, the world’s biggest commercial jet, with 113 in its fleet.