The A380 is an icon of aviation. The largest ever passenger airplane, it draws awe and fascination wherever it flies. The precision engineering of the A380 has been likened to a work of art, so it’s not surprising that it has inspired other artistic creations the world over.
This A380 Hangs Only 3.5 Meters Above the Ground
In South Africa, one of the most accurate scaled models of the A380 model can be found. Weighing 45 kilograms with a wingspan of 3.86 meters, it was commissioned by a South African company in association with Emirates. The plane hangs 3.5 meters above the ground in the foyer of the head office at the Bidvest Travel division in Johannesburg.
It’s the work of local designer Carl Maritz, who spent three-and-a-half-months painstakingly capturing every nuance of the airplane. Every aspect of the model is a faithful replica of the real thing.
“We even included working cockpit lights, headlights and anti-collision and strobe lights,” says Carl. “The lights and intervals are exactly the same as the real thing.
“Suffice to say, I now feel I know the shape and soul of the A380 intimately.”
An A380 Blossoms at Dubai Miracle Garden
In Dubai, Emirates and Dubai Miracle Garden teamed up to build one of the world’s largest floral installations. This is a life-size version of an A380 and covered in more than 500,000 fresh flowers and plants.
The work of natural beauty took 200 crew members around six months to build, and involved layering and mounting the foliage on a 30-tonne steel structure. The finished installation measured 72.93 meters long, with the tail 24.21 meters high. The designers even gave the airplane moving engine fans to capture the essence of the aircraft.
The National Geographic Premiere Onboard an A380
So it was popcorn for everyone when the National Geographic film Living in the Age of Airplanes received its debut screening on board an Emirates A380 in 2015.
Living in the Age of Airplanes showcases the many ways the airplane has changed our world. The film, directed by Brian J. Terwilliger, narrated by Harrison Ford, and featuring music Academy Award-winning composer James Horner, was previewed as the A380 took to the skies over Los Angeles.
There are other ways you can witness the majesty and excitement of the A380 up close and personal.
How About Flying an A380 Yourself
Flight simulators in London and in Dubai give you the chance to strap yourself in and take off down the runways of the world. Choose your destination, check the weather and guide your own A380 to your destination. The sessions are a wonderful way to gain an insight into what life’s like as an A380 pilot.
Back in the real world, it’s possible to get an A380 experience of a different kind without leaving the ground.
Have Something to Eat in an A380… Without Leaving the Ground!
A restaurant inspired by the First Class cabin of an A380 is doing big business in Chongqing in China. The DC Restaurant, which specialises in seafood, has modelled the dining experience on every aspect of an A380 – right down to the lighting, seats and bar. There are even emergency exit lights and the waiting staff also dress like flight attendants.
The A380 Café in Taipei operates along similar lines, attracting a steady stream of diners who are guaranteed in-flight dining minus the turbulence.
What About Jumping Around on an A380?
That’s what the children of Hamburg in Germany got to do to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Emirates A380 program, which coincided with the opening of a new route to Dubai.
The massive 23-metre inflatable A380 bouncy castle was a huge hit. It will continue to bring joy to the lives of Hamburg’s kids, with the HSV football club taking charge of the inflatable for its annual party.
Flying Over the Louvre in Abu Dhabi
There was art and culture for grown-ups in the Middle East to mark the arrival of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi in 2017. Etihad Airways celebrated the historic opening with an A380 fly-by, with the giant of the sky paying homage to a giant of the art world.
And if that’s not enough art for you, why not have a go at drawing your own A380 masterpiece?