The Emirates A380, the UAE airline’s flagship commercial aircraft, soared through the skies in an unprecedented flypast procession today, kicking off the 2019 edition of the Dubai Airshow. Spectators and aviation enthusiasts were able to watch a spectacular formation of 3 Chinook, 3 Black Hawk and 3 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, 4 F-16 Fighting Falcons, 1 Boeing C-17 military transport aircraft, and 4 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 special flypast was conducted at an altitude of 1000 feet with an airspeed of 250 knots. 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 operated by Captain Abbas Shaban and Captain Patrick De-Roeck, supported by First Officer Colin Campbell.
The large civil, air display and military procession appeared seamlessly composed but involved meticulous planning and collaboration between multiple stakeholders including the UAE Ministry of Defence, UAE Military and Air Force, Emirates pilots, Flight Operation Managers and Air Traffic Controllers working together with the Dubai Airshow Flying Control Committee and both aviation authorities (DCAA and GCAA).
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 1400hrs Dubai time.