A Completely Different Formation & The Making Of

  • Nov 5, 2015 5:52am GMT

The Emirates A380 and the Jetman Dubai duo team flew an extraordinary formation flight over the Palm Jumeirah and Dubai skyline with Burj Khalifa in the background. See the stunning footage below in the first video. The planning and meticulous collaboration with an intense focus on safety drove all efforts. The second video below will show you what went into making the Emirates A380 and Jetman Dubai team formation happen.

The carefully choreographed display was flown at 4,000 feet in two holding patterns. The A380 aircraft was then joined by the Jetmen Dubai duo, experienced pilots and operators of the smallest jet propelled wing, who were deployed from a helicopter that hovered above the aircraft at 5,500 feet. The duo conducted formations on both sides of the aircraft and joined to one side thereafter before breaking away.During the formation flight, the Emirates A380 flew at a weight of just 350 tonnes (the maximum weight of an A380 is 575 tonnes). As the largest passenger aircraft in the world, wake turbulence was the most significant risk to Jetman during the flight. To mitigate the risk, the duo’s formation positions were carefully selected to avoid the areas of wake turbulence and jet efflux from the Emirates A380.

Adel Al Redha, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for Emirates said: “This display between man and machine celebrates the magic and beauty of flight, a feat which just over a hundred years ago would have seemed an impossible dream. It also showcases how far human vision and ambition has, and can continue to push aviation’s boundaries. A spectacular formation flight like this is unprecedented, but as with all of Emirates’ operations, every aspect was painstakingly evaluated and practiced in our simulators to address all possible contingencies. Over the last three months, Emirates and the Jetman teams worked closely to diligently plan and coordinate every detail of this project, with safety at the forefront of every decision taken. Thorough stakeholder collaboration was also key and regulators from the General Civil Aviation Authority of the UAE, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Air Traffic Control (ATC), SkyDive Dubai and Aerovision, as well as numerous departments at Emirates were actively involved in the planning and execution of the flight formations to make this project a success. In this regard we would like to thank the entire team involved in the preparation and successful execution of this unique experience.”

Ismaeil Al Hashmi, Managing Director of Jetman Dubai said: “This demonstration of winged innovation is a perfect celebration of the values and intentions that both Jetman Dubai and Emirates share: striving for excellence and shaping perceptions. Dubai, a city that’s constantly breaking boundaries and creating history, is the ideal host for this exceptional Jetman formation flight, which once again pushes the frontiers of aviation.”

Michael Rudolph, Head of Aviation Regulations & Safety at the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority said: “From a DCAA Safety Oversight perspective, this event raised a number of challenges, as this was the very first time two humans, would fly in close formation to the largest passenger aircraft in the world. To this, a number of risk assessments where undertaken and workshopped to ensure the event would go ahead without incident. Further it was imperative to lesson, if any, the impact to commercial traffic approaching and departing from Dubai International Airport. Overall, this was achieved and even with slight schedule changes, the event went off without delay any safety concerns to any party associated to the project. DCAA is proud to be a part of aviation history.”