Can an Airbus A380 Fly Upside Down?

Feb 21, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Quora.com is a question-and-answer site where content is written and edited by its community of users. Occasionally we syndicate content from the site if we think it will interest TPG readers. This article originally appeared on Quora.com in response to the question Can an Airbus A380 Fly Upside Down?  and was written by Mark Hochstein, an airline pilot who’s also a former fighter pilot and flight instructor.


I am assuming that when you say “fly upside down” you mean sustained inverted flight like an aerobatic airplane. The answer is flatly, no. Inverted flight requires a specific airfoil (wing shape) as well as specific lubrication systems for the engines. Transport category aircraft are not built to engage in inverted flight.

If, however, your question relates to the ability to fly inverted for only a few seconds, then I believe the answer would be yes. Any airworthy aircraft should be able to complete a 1G barrel roll at the hands of a well-trained pilot proficient in the maneuver. A properly executed 1G barrel roll will not over-stress the aircraft or affect lubrication in any way. The danger is that an improperly executed barrel roll can get out of control very quickly.

The master of this maneuver was Bob Hoover, who used to execute 1G barrel rolls in a twin-engine aircraft with one engine shut down WHILE pouring iced tea into a cup that was sitting up on the glareshield (dash) of the aircraft.

The Airbus, being a fly-by-wire aircraft, has limitations in place that would prohibit the execution of this maneuver, but with special procedures, these limiting system can be disabled.

Featured image of an Airbus A380 courtesy of Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.