The expected route and the flight path flown by the crew (the small blue line close to the pink one on the map), "it was right over McMurdo station!" test pilots wrote to ExplorersWeb. (Click to enlarge).
Both images courtesy of the Airbus test crew (click to enlarge).
Airbus former UFO lands at Casey Station
Posted: Jan 11, 2008 08:25 pm EST
(ThePoles.com) Seems ExWeb has been part of Antarctica aviation history without really realizing it.
It began with a heads-up from Bill Spindler that a Mystery Plane had flown over the South Pole. Then scientists from the station confirmed with images they shot of the ghost craft while on a camping trip outside the SP shelter.
Airbus test crew: We landed at McMurdo
"What is it?" we asked. A pilot emailed from the Casey station, forwarding a press release from Airbus - claiming responsibility - and a successful test flight over the pole.
A few days later, Airbus test crew themselves found the 'Mystery Plane story' and emailed ExWeb, identifying the UFO as a brand new Airbus A380 overflying the South Pole during a technical and commercial exercise from Sydney to Buenos Aires on December 8.
"The aricraft MSN7 F-WWJB was en route from SYD to EZE via the South Pole on a 14H flight with Airbus Flight Test crew," they wrote. "It took off at 01:29UTC (15:29/08 South Pole Time) and land at 15:31UTC (04:30/09 South Pole Time) and was over the South Pole close to McMurdo 6H after the take off time."
In fact, the Airbus A319 had landed at McMurdo airport a few weeks before!
Check the image provided by these guys about the expected route and the flight path flown by the crew (the small blue line close to the pink one on the map), "it was right over McMurdo station!" reported the Airbus Flight test operations team.
AIA - Antarctica International Airport?
Well, this morning our Chinese (!) contributors forwarded a press release from AFP stating that the Airbus A319 left Hobart last night and landed at Wilkins Runway, 70 kilometers from Casey Station. CNN added that the blue ice runway had been built with help of laser.
Most other flights to the ice have been rugged military or sport planes; thats why this commercial, passenger type aircraft has made such waves.
Explorers have reached the continent on tourist ships, bumpy sailing boats, Hercs, and/or Iljusins. While the Australian Antarctic Division hopes to make the trip about 20 times each year - the seats are yet all reserved for scientists.
This aviation adventure has been a cool follow up to ExWeb featured aviation events such as Jennifer Murray and Colin Bodill's flight in a cherry-red Bell 407 around the world via the North and South Poles (ExWeb crew were treated to a test flight over Manhattan) and the "Mystery Chopper" on Everest, a story that also broke at ExplorersWeb, with the French crew soon after painting "Mystery chopper" on the helicopter's nose before making their historic landing on the summit of MountEverest!