Airbus Draws Giant Christmas Tree Over Germany

Flying the world’s largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, can be challenging at the best of times but one pilot created something rather special in the skies over Germany on 13th December – a Christmas tree, complete with decorations.

The aircraft will eventually be flown by Dubai-based airline Emirates, but as part of a test flight the A380 was piloted south from Hamburg, making circular manoeuvres at more than 40,000 feet to create the baubles and zig-zagging to recreate the distinctive shape of the tree.

The plane passed over the German cities of Cologne, Frankfurt and Stuttgart as well as the country of Denmark (where it created the ‘tree topper’), before returning to Hamburg to complete the full Christmas tree shape.

An outline of the flight path at 40,000ft was shared by, a site which tracks air traffic in real time, during the entire five-hour flight.

According to, the plane with the French registration F-WWAE took off at 12.47pm from the private Hamburg-Finkenwerder airfield, where Airbus assembles, paints and delivers passenger aircraft.

Airbus Christmas tree

German airline Lufthansa also flies the Airbus A380 / Image:

Test flights are common practice for most aircraft manufacturers, with Airbus employees coming up with the idea to “fly a Christmas tree” in view of the advent season. The route had also been discussed with the German Air Traffic Control (DFS) and the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation, Eurocontrol.

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