A Thomas Cook Airbus A330 Drew a Giant Heart in the Sky

Dec 27, 2018

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A Thomas Cook Scandinavia Airbus A330 took a rather interesting route on a Dec. 26 morning flight. Thomas Cook Scandinavia flight DK4501 departed from Stockholm, arriving back at Stockholm around an hour later. This was a test flight, as the aircraft was recently sold to Thomas Cook by Air Transat. While test flights like this one are quite common, the route the pilots opted to take was far from routine.

Thomas Cook Scandinavia is the Danish version of the popular English leisure airline, Thomas Cook Airlines. Founded in 2008, Thomas Cook Scandinavia has a surprisingly large and well-rounded fleet. Thomas Cook Scandinavia’s fifth Airbus A330 entered the fleet in early December, and has been undergoing the required test flights before launching into service. On the aircraft’s most recent test flight, the pilots decided to get creative with the routing and drew a heart in the sky.

(Image via Flightradar24)
(Image via Flightradar24)

Taking advantage of GPS and other navigational systems, the Thomas Cook Scandinavia pilots in control of DK4501 flew the Airbus A330 so that the route would trace a heart. Over the 1-hour and 3-minute flight, Dk4501 traced a heart that measures over 35 miles in length and width. While the heart isn’t visible in the sky, free flight trackers like Flightradar24 allow anyone to see the massive shape.

While you might think a Christmas tree or a snowflake might be more fitting for this late-December flight, a quick glance at the Thomas Cook Group’s logo shows why a heart is quite fitting. Since 2013, the Thomas Cook Group has branded its travel and holiday products with a golden heart. The heart is found in logos, on websites and the side of the aircraft. Plus, a heart is a much more achievable shape to trace in such a short amount of time.

Thomas Cook Airlines Heart Livery (Photo by Christoph Schmidt/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Thomas Cook Airlines Heart Livery (Photo by Christoph Schmidt/picture alliance via Getty Images)

This isn’t the first time pilots decided to get creative on a test flight. On a test flight from Everett-Paine Field near Seattle, Boeing 737 MAX 8 pilots traced the word MAX over much of the Western US. Pilots have also traced Christmas trees and Boeing 787 pilots have even traced the 787 Dreamliner logo in great detail.

H/T: Flightradar24 via Twitter

Featured image via Flightradar24

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