19 November 2005

Emirates Airlines' New Planes

The weird, wacky weekend weather that hit the Emirates over the past 2 days brought freak winds on Friday lasting for about an hour, and then rain on Saturday. Not heavy rain, and not for very long, but enough to count as rain in the UAE.

The Dubai Air Show is on this week, and this brings a lot of people to town. Certainly there are the plane enthusiasts, but more importantly, there is a heavy business and military presence. Bigwigs from all over the world congregate at major airshows such as the Dubai show to look at what's new, who's offering the best bargains (bribes), and in front of myriads of press cameras, they sign up to purchase aircraft.

Between the rain showers early on Saturday morning, Emirates Airlines showed off their latest acquisition - the Airbus A380. It paraded along the beach in front of the Burj al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel for about an hour, with the pilot putting it through its paces as he banked the plane into turns around the Burj, and displayed the enormous Emirates logo painted on the underneath of the massive fuselage.
Later in the afternoon, we were treated to a fly-past of another new plane for Emirates - the Boeing 777 - for which Emirates placed a US$9 billion order for about 40 planes with an option on 20 more. It only flew past once but, from what we could see, it wasn't as manoeuverable as the Airbus, and the turning circle appeared to be a lot wider.

The best entertainment came from a little Lear (or similar) jet that was flying with the 2 aircraft. It was having a great time chasing the bigger jets through the sky, and flying alongside them as they passed down the beach. It was probably a film crew filming footage for future Emirates' ads, but we had more fun imagining that it was Sheikh Mohammed checking out his latest big boy's toys!


Evan said...

I hate to burst your bubble, but you didn't see a 7E7 fly by. I'm sitting next to a Boeing Project Pilot, and we think you saw a 777. The 7E7 (787 or dreamliner, if you please) will not exist for another 2 years. The flight control software and hardware are being installed in a 777 later this year, and construction of the first pieces of the plane are underway, but we are two years away from first flight.

If they introduced this as a 7E7, they were pulling your leg.

nzm said...

Hi Evan

No bubble burst, as I wasn't sure of this myself - I was just waiting for someone to comment and confirm my suspicion.

Thanks for the confirmation - info now changed to reflect!

The only thing that had me confused was the wingtips which were raised on the plane that we saw fly by - and on all pics that I've seen of the 777, they don't have these. But now I've read that these have been added to the 777-200LR and 777-300ER, so it must have been one of these.