A380 Silhouette during the sunset

Hello Infinite Flight Community! Last night, my Dad (who is a Delta captain) flew his last leg of the day from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. While at cruising altitude, there was an Emirates A380 that flew 1,000 feet over his aircraft going the opposite direction! He managed to capture these photos of the A380 that he then sent to me. Enjoy, and let me know what you think down below!

The A380’s Silhouette in the distance.

A zoomed-in shot as it flies right over!

Thanks for reading!

Side-note: I wasn’t sure if this would fit in the spotting category, so if you think this should be in the #real-world-aviation category, let me know!


Cool! Let me guess, he flies the 757? (Based on route, otherwise a321)

That first shot is awesome!

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Thanks! He flew the A321 on this flight

Nice, he’s living my dream job! (If you CLEARLY couldn’t tell in my profile picture 😉)


Really nice photo from your dad! - with the peaceful sunset dwarfing the A380.

Makes it look like it’s floating like a feather.

But, by a calculation I was doing, to keep that “feather” floating like that, every second it needs to shove the equivalent mass of air of about 30 adult male elephants vertically down each accelerated to about 60mph!

(At A380’s max landing weight)

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Interesting calculation.

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This exquisite math isnt mathing atm

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I was thinking about something in this direction when your photo appeared. Reminded me of a popular A380 video where you see it collapse a cloud downwards as it passes through, from the air forced down needing to generated lift.

It’s just amazing they can float like that, and we can ride in one.

I was writing some notes on the topic and the OP’s photo just appeared as a coincidental fit - you can’t keep an object in the sky without throwing something downwards. This is just an estimate of how much and how fast you need to throw something directly down (relative wind).

When you learn something complicated in math class and you try to put it into use in the real world:


Cool photos :D

Is he a Minneapolis based pilot?

No, he’s Salt Lake based

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I was trying to get a feel for how much the lift (which is made by giving downward momentum to the air) relies on the amount (mass) of that air versus the vertical speed given to that air.

The 30 elephants accelerated to a modest speed of 60 mph, shows lift generation relies more on mass than speed of the downward air.

This is a similar idea to the high bypass design of engines - you get a much bigger kick in efficiency from moving a lot of air at a slower speed than a little air at much faster speed.

Whether suspending weight in the sky or giving it forward propulsion to do so, it’s cheaper to make those forces by moving a bigger amount of air more slowly (original 707 engines were fuel hogs!).

Sorry about the tangent. Anyway, Salt Lake City is one of my favorite places for scenery in IF. And I’m envious of you - love the scenery in Utah!

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