Conditions in Düsseldorf, Germany (DUS) were windy and wet over the weekend, making for a crazy-looking maneuver as this Emirates Airbus A380 (the world’s largest passenger airliner) returned to terra firma. Watching the giant aircraft’s weight transfer to its wheels somehow actually makes the superjumbo appear small.
The A380 is so large that the jet’s vertical stabilizer quickly disappears out of frame. In case you were wondering just how tall that massive tail stands, it’s just shy of 80 feet. By comparison, most school buses are 40 feet long.
It is also worth noting how much runway the A380 needs to make a safe landing. Assuming it is fully loaded at its Maximum Landing Weight (MLW) of 434 tons (over 868,000 pounds!) and operating at sea level, the big Airbus needs at least 5,000 feet to safely halt. The shorter of the two runways at Düsseldorf is 8,859 feet in length, and the airport is situated just 147 feet above sea level. Given these constraints and the later-than-normal touchdown, this A380 appears to have used close to every foot of runway available to decelerate to a taxiing speed.
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