Airbus A380 draws gigantic Christmas tree in the sky

The A380 - created by French-based, European-wide company Airbus - had its first flight in 2005

An A380 double-decker plane - the flagship jet created by the Toulouse-based, European company Airbus - has drawn a giant Christmas tree over German and Danish airspace.

The flight, which reportedly took five hours to create its Christmassy passage, was tracked by the real time plane monitoring website Flightradar24, which tweeted an image clearly showing the festive shape.

According to Flightradar24, the flight was a test journey, which would have taken place anyway, and the only unusual element was the route. The different colours show the plane’s varying altitudes throughout.

The tree - complete with baubles - stretched from Hamburg in the north of the country to Stuttgart in the south, making it several hundred kilometres long, plus a extremely elongated "tree topper" stretching to and from northern Denmark.

The jet had no passengers on board on this particular occasion, but the Christmas tree manoeuvre is not said to have been dangerous for the crew or the plane itself, and has merely been congratulated for its seasonal spirit.

Similarly, in August, a Boeing 747 Dreamliner jet prompted excitement when it spent 18 test-flight hours drawing a giant shape of a 747 across most of the eastern United States. Not all international “flight drawings” have been as positively received, though; last month a pilot in the US Navy was severely reprimanded and an inquiry launched after a Navy jet was used to trace a slightly more crude image across the state of Washington.

This new Christmas tree plane, however, will eventually go on to form part of the Emirates commercial airline fleet.

The A380 - created by French-based, European-wide company Airbus - had its first flight in 2005, and has been billed as a rival to the US Boeing Dreamliner jet.

As one of the only double-decker planes in the world, it offers over 550 square metres of usable floor space on board, and, according to Airbus, can carry 500-900 passengers (depending on seat layout) distances of up to 15,700 km without needing to land.

The Emirates airline is the biggest customer of the A380, having ordered 142 planes in total, of which 101 have so far been delivered.

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