Few airline pilots have the opportunity to fly the Airbus A380 – one of the world’s most impressive aircraft.
But one pilot has allowed people a glimpse of the view from the cockpit while taking off in the world’s biggest passenger plane before soaring through the clouds.
British Airways captain Dave Wallsworth, from Manchester, published a fascinating video of him and his colleagues getting the Johannesburg-bound plane – flight BA55K – airborne from London Heathrow in July.
British Airways Captain Dave Wallsworth has published a fascinating video showing a take off in an A380 from London Heathrow
The view from the flight deck shows the flight crew going through their pre take off checks before heading towards the runway
After the aircraft’s four Rolls Royce Trent engines kick in, the plane starts to accelerate before becoming airborne
The clip, published today with the permission of BA, shows the crew inset over a forward view and begins with Captain Wallsworth taxiing towards Heathrow’s runway 27L.
In the flight deck he is joined by senior first officer Jeremy Goodson, with senior first officer Philip Gillespie observing, as the aircraft creeps around to the runway.
After getting the all-clear from air traffic control, Captain Wallsworth checks his crew are all ready before First Officer Goodson pushes the thrust levers forward accelerating the four huge Rolls Royce Trent engines.
As the aircraft gains speed, both men check the various modes and settings before Captain Wallsworth declares ‘thrust set’ and an automated voice booms V1, meaning the plane cannot now stop on the runway.
The three-strong flight crew can be heard keeping in contact with air traffic control as they complete their ascent above the airport
The final procedure in the take-off is the crew ordering the flaps up as they reach a speed of 250 knots above England
The crew also remark at the stunning view of the south coast of England from the cockpit as they head towards South Africa
And after he then says ‘rotate’, giving First Office Goodson the signal to ease back on the sidestick and the A380 becomes airborne before all 22 wheels of the landing gear are brought up.
The footage then shows the aircraft hurtling above the M25 motorway and the Wraysbury Reservoir, before they continue to aim for a higher altitude.
High-flyer: Captain Dave Wallsworth who is originally from Manchester and has worked for BA since 1989
The final procedure in the take-off is the crew ordering the flaps up as they reach a speed of 250 knots as they pass over Wentworth Golf Course.
The three men are then treated to stunning views over southern England on their way to South Africa before completing the climb check-list and Captain Dave removes his seatbelt and turns off the passengers’ fasten seatbelt sign once they reach 10,000 feet.
And the footage ends with Captain Wallsworth and First Officer Goodson noticing the beautiful view as they head to the west of the south coast and Brighton.
Captain Wallsworth has worked for British Airways since 1989 and just last month published another fascinating video showing a descent on an A380 into Johannesburg Airport.
Speaking at the time, he said: ‘I get a buzz I get every single time I carry out a take-off or landing. Part of me still can’t believe they let me do this. It really is a dream come true.’
British Airways have 12 Airbus A380s in their fleet and fly them to destinations including Singapore, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Miami, Washington, Boston, Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago from May 2018.
A picture showing one of BA’s A380s soaring above the white cliffs of Dover. BA have 12 A380s in their fleet currently flying to nine destinations
Each aircraft has wings that at 2,775 sq ft are 54 per cent bigger than those of a Boeing 747, four Rolls-Royce engines that are the size of a Mercedes C-series and enough storage space to transport 469 passengers, in a BA configuration.
It’s so big that only around 20 runways in the world can handle it.