During my recent trip to Hong Kong, I built in an 18 hour layover in Frankfurt in order to meet up with my friends from Lufthansa as well as to take in some unique Plane Spotting opportunities.   In all, I spent about 6 hours walking Frankfurt’s tarmac, visiting 3 Lufthansa Technic Hangars and 2 observation areas.

The visit to Hangar 7 (a.k.a. the A380 Hangar) gave me virtually unlimited access to walk through, around and under Lufthansa’s ‘Tokio’.   ‘Tokio’ (D-AIMD) was the 4th Airbus A380 to join Lufthansa’s fleet when it was delivered in October of 2010.

There’s an old saying that states you can say more by saying less so I will take this advice at least for this post and let my pictures do most of the talking.  All I can say is that even though I have flown on the A380 a few times, I never appreciated her size and the engineering marvel that she is……until now.

 

Lufthansa's Airbus A380 'Tokio' shown in her stall.

Lufthansa’s Airbus A380 ‘Tokio’ shown in her stall.

To put things in perspective, look at the service vehicle near the inboard engine on the left wing....That vehicle can be swallowed whole by the engine.....

To put things in perspective, look at the LH Technic vehicle near the inboard engine on the left wing….That vehicle can be swallowed whole by the engine…..

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'Star Wars' Character or simply wearing it's headphones?

‘Star Wars’ Character or simply wearing it’s headphones?

 

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Being this close to this behemoth really put things in perspective.

As large as the A380 is, an average height adult can not walk beneath the plane without ducking.

As large as the A380 is, an average height adult can not walk beneath the plane without ducking.

Looking out towards the starboard wing.

Looking out towards the starboard wing.

 

Another look at the starboard wing

Another look at the starboard wing

Sorry Gary, but this is a much better "View From The Wing"! :)

Sorry Gary, but this is a much better “View From The Wing”! 🙂

 

An interesting fact about the A380 is that it's wing span is larger than the length of the fuselage.   The A380 is the only airliner that can say that.

An interesting fact about the A380 is that it’s wing span is larger than the length of the fuselage. The A380 is the only airliner that can say that.  The wingspan is nearly as wide as a Football Field (261 feet!)

Hidden in this hatch is a turbine fan that drops down in case of electrical system failure.  The turbine is efficient enough to generate enough power to run the A380's critical systems during an emergency.

Hidden in this hatch beneath the wing is a turbine fan that drops down in case of electrical system failure. The turbine is efficient enough to generate enough power to run the A380’s critical systems during an emergency.

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Its big. Including the vertical stabilizer, the A380 is over 7 stories tall.

 

A fully digital cockpit, including tablet and laptop ports.   Virtually a paperless cockpit.   Laptops are used to install flight plans, retrieve aircraft telemetry and "wear and tear" numbers that help engineers pinpoint problems and maintenance needs.....all without putting pen to paper.

A fully digital cockpit, including tablet and laptop ports. Virtually a paperless cockpit. Laptops are used to install flight plans, retrieve aircraft telemetry and “wear and tear” data that help engineers pinpoint problems and maintenance needs…..all without putting pen to paper.   Truly helps reduce the human error element.

A closer look at the display panels.

A closer look at the display panels. Notice the center screen on the lower displays, thats the view from the vertical stabilizer.  The A380 has several cameras installed in the fuselage to help the pilot steer the aircraft on the ground as well as to provide views for passengers via the Inflight Entertainment System.

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A view from the pilot’s side window. The A380 you see is ‘Peking’, which was delivered to Lufthansa in August 2010, right before ‘Tokio’. Who knew you can see Peking from Tokio…..

 

                                   To see specific dimensions and capacities of the A380, visit this informative page on Airbus.com