As an airline famous as the world’s biggest operator of the behemoth A380, Emirates often share spectacular images and videos of the giant jumbo taking off. However, it’s not often you see one of these monster aircraft being chased by a car, but that’s just what happened recently.
In a scene that appears to be something out of a Hollywood blockbuster, a follow me car appears to chase after a departing A380 as it races down the runway. Clearly, the A380 won, but what on earth is going on here?
Chasing down an A380
There’s never a bad time to watch an A380 take off, so any footage of Emirates in action is bound to get some attention. However, a video posted by the Gulf airline this week got a bit more attention than most.
As the glorious A380 begins its runway rollout, a tiny follow me car is suddenly seen speeding into shot. The vehicle, lights ablaze, makes a swift right turn, practically lifting onto two wheels as it hurtles around the corner.
As the Emirates jumbo powers down the runway for a perfect take off, the follow me car belts down the runway after it, seemingly engaging in an impossible chase after the aircraft.
You can check out the crazy chase yourself in the video below:
— Emirates Airline (@emirates) August 23, 2019
Some have speculated that perhaps the pilot forgot his sandwiches, or that maybe one of the flight attendants was late for work. Amusing these suggestions might be, but not really realistic, so what was really going on?
What’s going on here?
While it might look like the A380 and the follow me car are shooting for the latest installment of The Fast and the Furious, the truth is not quite so exciting as all that.
An Emirates spokesperson told Gulf News that,
“What you see here is that our A380 takes-off and then the airport follow me car goes on the runway to carry out a routine inspection. This is an airport ‘follow me’ car. One of its tasks is to frequently check runways / taxiways for debris to enable smooth operations. Airports have such vehicles, used for a variety of functions.”
Indeed, the takeoff of an A380 is bound to cause some kick up of dust and dirt, so its pertinent for the airport to make sure the runway is safe as the aircraft departs. However, with flights often on a pretty tight schedule, these cars need to have a good turn of speed so they can perform the necessary checks and get out of the way in time for the next arrival or departure.
Emirates confirmed that the car was not really pursuing the flight, despite appearances.
“Here, the car is not patrolling the flight per se, it is checking the runway. In some cases, they are used to guide aircraft to their parking positions /gates,”
Although the ‘car chase’ might not be quite as exciting as some would have hoped, you’ve got to love the response by Dusseldorf Airport to the video:
— Düsseldorf Airport (@dusairport) August 23, 2019
But, they’ll have to be a whole lot faster than that to catch an A380. Perhaps they should take a leaf out of Bologna Airport’s books and get a Lambo.
A Huracán RWD gets on the runways: it’s called “Follow Me Car”, and you can see it at the @BLQairport helping airplanes to takeoff with its new livery designed by Centro Stile Lamborghini. #Lamborghini #HuracanRWD #Bologna #CentroStileLamborghini pic.twitter.com/k4NSeqoURs
— Lamborghini (@Lamborghini) June 10, 2019