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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Airbus creates Christmas tree with Emirates A380 test flight over Germany

Carefully choreographed shape showed up on flight tracking websites

The path of the flight over Germany. Screengrab courtesy flightradar24.com
The path of the flight over Germany. Screengrab courtesy flightradar24.com

Airbus, the European aeronautical firm, brought a little early festive cheer to the skies of the continent on Wednesday with a carefully choregraphed test of flight AIB232E.

Viewers of the plane's course on flight-tracking websites such as flightradar24 were able to see the craft "draw" a Christmas tree above Germany.

During the test flight of the A380 that will eventually be flown by Dubai carrier Emirates, the aircraft was piloted south from Hamburg, making circular manoeuvres at more than 40,000ft to create the baubles and zig-zagging to recreate the distinctive shape of the tree.

It passed over Cologne, Frankfurt and Stuttgart before returning to Hamburg to complete the shape. You can track the course of the plane on flightRadar24 here.

Earlier this year, Boeing, Airbus's great rival, pulled off a similar stunt when a Dreamliner made the shape of a plane over America, setting off from Seattle, flying east to Michigan before turning back on itself and heading into the central states of the country.