Aviation News

February 8, 2010

PHOTOS: Airbus Sneaks A380 Into Boston

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By: Phil Derner Jr.
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The Airbus A380 passes the Prudential Building in Boston while approaching Runway 33L. (Photo by Mark Garfinkel)
The Airbus A380 passes the Prudential Building in Boston while approaching Runway 33L. (Photo by Mark Garfinkel)
The Airbus A380 passes the Prudential Building in Boston while apporaching rwy 33L. (Photo by Mark Garfinkel)

The Airbus A380 passes the Prudential Building in Boston while approaching runway 33L. (Photo by Mark Garfinkel)

It’s not easy keeping the largest airliner in the world a secret, but Airbus snuck an A380 into Boston Logan Airport this afternoon, a first for the aircraft type in what was a shock for many. MassPort officials were mum for the most part about the arrival, but some great photos were still obtained photos of this special moment in the airport’s history.

The 239-foot “super jumbo” airliner, registered F-WWDD in Airbus house colors, landed on runway 33L and parked at a remote hardstand. It is unconfirmed whether Boston has any gates that can adequately receive the jet, with its 261-foot wingspan and 79-foot height. The aircraft is expected to depart Tuesday morning at 8am.

The aircraft came in for proving runs, to test out the airfield’s ability to handle the aircraft in terms of runway and taxiway mobility, as well as ground handling capabilities of ground crews who may have to work with the aircraft one day. Boston is already designated as an alternate airport for A380s flying to New York’s JFK, along with a few other airports in the region, such as Toronto and Dulles.

As of this time, there is no word on what airline, if any, may operate into Boston with the massive double-decker in the future.

UPDATE: WBZ TV reports that the plane was delivering an unmanned submarine which will be used in the search for Air France Flight 447′s flight data recorder in the Atlantic Ocean between Brazil and Africa. Airbus is financing much of cost of the recovery operation for the A330 which crashed on June 1st, 2009.

Coming in low over the houses in the towns surroudning Boston. (Photo by Matt Tomlin)

Coming in low over the houses in the towns surrounding Boston. (Photo by Matt Tomlin)

Lookin through the windows as she passes. (Photo by Matt Tomlin)

Lookin through the windows as she passes. (Photo by Matt Tomlin)

Moments from touchdown on runway 33L with the Boston skyline in the background. Anyone up for eatin lobstah? (Photo by Mark Garfinkel)

Moments from touchdown on runway 33L with the Boston skyline in the background. Anyone up for eatin lobstah? (Photo by Mark Garfinkel)

Take a breather, A380! (Photo by Mark Garfinkel)
Take a breather, A380! (Photo by Mark Garfinkel)

Here is a great video of the aircraft’s departure taken by Thornton Shepherd (Tbird209)…


  • Chris

    The WBZ feature story explained that the plane was carrying a small submarine that needed repairs. That sub was being used to search for the FDR coming from the Air France Airbus that crashed into the Atlantic. I cannot explain why a C-5 or a C-17 wasn't used instead, or at least an Atlas 744. But still, while the beast is here they may try towing it into a gate or 2, to see if it 'fits.'

  • Chris

    The WBZ feature story explained that the plane was carrying a small submarine that needed repairs. That sub was being used to search for the FDR coming from the Air France Airbus that crashed into the Atlantic. I cannot explain why a C-5 or a C-17 wasn't used instead, or at least an Atlas 744. But still, while the beast is here they may try towing it into a gate or 2, to see if it 'fits.'

  • Mr Goodmorning

    Probably because Airbus is footing much of the bill for the AF447 search. They might as well use their own equipment.

  • Mr Goodmorning

    Probably because Airbus is footing much of the bill for the AF447 search. They might as well use their own equipment.

  • Guest named Harry

    CAUTION WHITE TURBULENCE I was at Logan to see the Big Jet fly, this morning. THE A380 was pushed back after 8:15am, was on the tarmac by 8:30am, and airborne about 8:50am. There were less than six plane spotters, plus two TV news camera crews on the 5th level of terminal B, where the view is Logan's best and has been since the yellowfins of Northeast and the silver and blue Eastern whisperjets flew here twenty five or thirty years ago. The white A380 rolled forward down runway 22L achieving flight about halfway down the long runway. Within ten seconds of becoming airborne, she banked firmly left and continued her climb out of KBOS airspace. A general aviation pilot happened to be standing next to me as we both turned to leave, and I said, "caution white turbulence" He laughed and nodded, echoing my thoughts. The A380 was quiet, made airspeed rather effortlessly, and with the sun shining off the fusilage she flew southeast out of Boston climbing steadily.

    • Tbird

      Here is my video of the takeoff that matches Harry's description.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuY_tJ1VE7s

    • Phil D.

      GREAT VID TBIRD! Thanks for sharing!

    • Tbird

      My pleasure Phil.

    • Erick

      I am pretty sure is "wake" turbulence.. I don't know if you wanted to make a joke or something =D

  • Guest named Harry

    CAUTION WHITE TURBULENCE I was at Logan to see the Big Jet fly, this morning. THE A380 was pushed back after 8:15am, was on the tarmac by 8:30am, and airborne about 8:50am. There were less than six plane spotters, plus two TV news camera crews on the 5th level of terminal B, where the view is Logan's best and has been since the yellowfins of Northeast and the silver and blue Eastern whisperjets flew here twenty five or thirty years ago. The white A380 rolled forward down runway 22L achieving flight about halfway down the long runway. Within ten seconds of becoming airborne, she banked firmly left and continued her climb out of KBOS airspace. A general aviation pilot happened to be standing next to me as we both turned to leave, and I said, "caution white turbulence" He laughed and nodded, echoing my thoughts. The A380 was quiet, made airspeed rather effortlessly, and with the sun shining off the fusilage she flew southeast out of Boston climbing steadily.

    • Tbird

      Here is my video of the takeoff that matches Harry's description.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuY_tJ1VE7s

    • Phil D.

      GREAT VID TBIRD! Thanks for sharing!

    • Tbird

      My pleasure Phil.

    • Erick

      I am pretty sure is "wake" turbulence.. I don't know if you wanted to make a joke or something =D

  • ahmed emad

    thx very much

    http://www.anagulf.com