Posted April 3, 2008 by Andrew Wong
Thin is in, and one needs only to look at Kate Moss to see how true this still is. Which makes it all the more amazing that the plane with the most buzz is so tubby. Yes, the Airbus A380 with its passenger capacity of up to 853, finally had its inaugural waddle, er…flight, into London Heathrow last month. After all these years of scepticism about whether this massive bird would fly, it was finally before my eyes.
Of course my colleague Jaklien and I challenged each other to see who the best plane spotter was (hey, it's a legitimate hobby!) in preparation for the A380 to arrive from Singapore. “Virgin 340-600!” I called. Jaklien wasn’t sure but then spotted a British Airways A320, not as exciting as a bigger plane but I gave him 10 points nonetheless. Sure enough, there was a constant stream of aircraft seemingly coming from all directions and altitudes to join up on the flight path to Heathrow. But these were just boring old planes. We wanted the mother ship.
It almost seemed like an eternity standing at the end of the hall peering out of the window. Office workers coming from the elevators must have thought we were mad and/or unemployed. Finally, just before we thought we had missed it, the giant turkey that is the A380 swooped past our building in the West End and made a sharp but graceful turn to fly in the direction of Heathrow. “Thick” was the word that came to mind, as you could see two rows or windows and extra large lettering for the Singapore logo. People passing by us in the hall stopped to watch as well and you could hear the collective ‘ooughs’ and ‘aaaah’s even from non-airline nerds such as Jaklien and I.
The plane remained in eye shot for a good 30 seconds before it disappeared into the distance. We could spot the gear coming down as it was probably on its final approach to Heathrow and then it was gone. History made! Nerds win!
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